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A Four-Peat For The Wildcats
Bethune-Cookman’s Ryan Durrence was 2-5 with a home run and five RBI to lead the 15-run, 12-hit attack against the Aggies. Freshman lefty Ali Simpson (9-2) won his seventh consecutive game, pitching five innings while three relievers Joseph Munoz, Rayan Gonzalez, and Felix Machado pitched the final four innings to help secure the victory.
Head Coach Mervyl Melendez was named the Outstanding Tournament Coach for the ninth time in his career.
“We have been playing well the last 2-3 weeks and this is the team I envisioned earlier in the year – we saw that team today and this weekend,” said Melendez.
“We need to continue to peak, continue to swing the bats like we’ve been and continue to pitch well. We will savior this moment and enjoy this victory. I am proud of everything we have done as a team. I am very satisfied and happy winning the MEAC title again.”
Freshman Marquis Riley earned Outstanding Tournament Performer honors. “It was a tough ride and we knew we would have to be patient. We fought and fought but Bethune-Cookman is a good team,” explained Riley.
“We have a lot a freshman and hopefully with everyone back and stronger we will be able to contend for the championship again next year.”
In Sunday’s win, Durrence had five RBI and the offense had six RBI doubles in the contest. Hitting RBI two baggers were: Justin Hoyte, C. J. Lauriello, Durrence, Emmanuel Castro, Chris Brown and Alejandro Sanchez.
B-CU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and NC A&T tied it up 3-all scoring three runs off Simpson in the second with keys RBI hits from George Hines and C. J. Beatty.
The Wildcats broke open the game scoring five times in the fourth, two more in the fifth inning and three times in the eighth inning to make the score 15-7.
Cyril Daniel and Lester Rivenbark had home runs for the Aggies who out-hit B-CU 13-12 in the game.
Bethune-Cookman will find out who their next opponent is on Monday, May 25 when the NCAA Baseball Selection Show will air live on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. The NCAA Baseball Regionals are scheduled to begin on May 29.
2009 MEAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Outstanding Performer: Marquis Riley, North Carolina A&T
Outstanding Coach: Mervyl Melendez, Bethune-Cookman
2009 All-Tournament Team:
John Lynch, Norfolk State Tim Schalch, Florida A&M Chris Fullman, Florida A&M Xavier Macklin, North Carolina A&T Juan Herrera, Norfolk State CJ Lauriello, Bethune-Cookman Hiram Burgos, Bethune-Cookman George Hines, North Carolina A&T Chase Davenport, Norfolk State Russel Deutschmann, Maryland Eastern Shore Bryan Chaikowsky, Maryland Eastern Shore Marquis Riley, North Carolina A&T Darryl Evans, Florida A&M