Dover, DE - Delaware State has clinched at least a tie for the MEAC North title after 8-2 and 17-5 wins over Coppin State at Soldier Field today. The Hornets have won 11 straight games to improve to 29-14-1 overall and 17-1 in the MEAC.
DSU's modern-day record for consecutive wins is 12 during the 2002 season.
The Hornets have a six-game lead over second place Norfolk State in the division standings. Each team has six league games remaining. The Hornets swept their six games against Norfolk State this season.
In the opener, third baseman Cameron Cecil was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, while Eddie Sorondo also drove in three runs for the Hornets.
In the nightcap, Tony Gatto had a career-best six RBI, while Aaron Nardone and JP Frey knocked in three runs each for DSU.
The Hornets led 3-2 in game one before exploding for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The highlight of the inning was Cecil's three-run blast over the fence in right field to give DSU a 6-2 lead. Sorondo doubled in a run and Frey added a run-scoring single in the inning for the Hornets.
Delaware State opened the game one scoring with two runs in the last of the third inning. Nardone singled home Troy Drummond with the first run and Sorondo singled in Nardone to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
After Coppin State tied the game with two runs in the fourth, the Hornets scored the go-ahead run in the fifth. Cecil led off the inning with a single. He advanced to second on a walk to Nardone, and reached third when the pair pulled off a double steal. Cecil crossed the plate on a ground out by Sorondo to put DSU ahead 3-2.
Zach Adkins pitched seven solid innings to pick up the win for the Hornets. He allowed five hits and two runs, while striking out six to improve to 6-1 on the season. Derek Marshalsea pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out two, in relief of Adkins.
In game two, Delaware State opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first.
The Hornets scored four times in the third to take a 6-0 lead. Cecil walked to lead off the inning. He was on base when Nardone hit a sinking liner to center. Coppin State centerfielder John Walls attempted a diving catch on the ball, but it got past him and rolled to the fence, allowing Nardone to circle the bases with an inside-the-park home run to give the Hornets a 4-0 lead. Later in the inning, Gatto doubled in his first two runs of the game to put DSU ahead by six.
After the Eagles scored a run in the fourth, the Hornets tallied six runs in the bottom of the inning to stretch their lead to 12-1. Cecil and Peter Broehl had run-scoring singles, while Frey brought home a run on a sacrifice fly in the inning. Gatto and Drummond were also credited with RBIs after drawing bases loaded walks in the fourth.
Gatto singled in two runs in Delaware State's three-run fifth inning. He drew another bases loaded walk in the sixth for his final RBI of the game.
Starter Matt McClain (7-3) pitched six innings to pick up the win for the Hornets.
Cecil was 5-for-9 with four RBI, while Sorondo drove in five runs in the doublrheader.
Delaware State returns to action on Wednesday (May 2) at home against Navy. Game time is 3:00 p.m. at Soldier Field.