NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – Danny Hosley hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning and James Deloatch pitched his first career shutout to send the Norfolk State baseball team into the championship round of the MEAC Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Marty L. Miller Field.
NSU (24-26) will play the winner of Friday night’s late elimination game on Saturday at noon. The Spartans will have two chances to win once to capture their first-ever MEAC baseball title.
Hosley’s single through the left side of the infield, his second hit of the game, scored Alsander Womack from second. Womack reached on a two-out NCCU error and took second on a passed ball.
That was all Deloatch needed. He retired the Eagles (26-19) in order in the ninth, striking out Jacob Raby for his fifth punchout of the game to end it, sending NSU into the championship round for the fourth time in the last five MEAC tournaments. Deloatch (7-2) scattered four hits and four walks in pitching a nine-inning complete-game for the first time.
The game was a pitchers’ duel all the way between Deloatch, a third-team All-MEAC honoree, and All-MEAC first-team pick Austin Vernon (5-4). NSU didn’t manage a hit until Hosley’s single in the fourth. The Spartans stranded a pair of runners in the fourth and fifth, with Vernon keeping NSU off the board. The Eagles had two runners on board in the eighth, but catcher Adam Collins threw out two runners at second base to keep NCCU at bay.
Vernon retired the first two batters in the eighth before Womack reached based on an Eagle infield error. Womack then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Hosley followed, lining a 2-1 fastball between the shortstop and third baseman to plate Womack with the game’s only run.
Hosley went 2-for-4 for NSU. Chet Sikes had two of the Eagles’ four hits.
This year will mark NSU’s 10th appearance in the MEAC Tournament championship round. The Spartans are advancing out of the winner’s bracket for the second straight tournament, having also accomplished the feat in 2019 before finishing as runner-up to Florida A&M.