Melendez, Dyals Awarded Weekly Honors
GREENSBORO (May 8, 2017) – North Carolina A&T baseball had an impressive week during May 1-7. It started with a midweek win over Winthrop Wednesday and extended to the Aggies earning a series and six-game season sweep of Savannah State with two wins on Saturday and one on Sunday.
In the process, the Aggies secured a tournament berth in the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Tournament, May 17-20. It is their first tournament berth in four years. This week has started superbly as well. Two Aggies were rewarded by the MEAC on Monday for last week's 4-0 record. Brandon Melendez (5-foot-9 175-pound SS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was named player of the week, and Cutter Noah Dyals (5-11 200-pound RHP, Tampa, Fla.) earned pitcher of the week.
Melendez spent the whole week on the base paths. He collected 11 total bases, walked seven times, had a .810 on-base percentage, scored seven runs and was 4-for-4 in stolen bases. In addition, he was 10-for-14 (.714) at the plate with one double and four RBI. Melendez is first in the MEAC in on-base percentage (.468) and second in batting (.379). Nationally, he ranks 43rd in batting average and 47th in on-base percentage. Melendez leads the Aggies in multiple-hit games with 19.
Dyals played a major role in two of the Aggie wins last week. Dyals made his first appearance of the week on Wednesday at Winthrop. Dyals, who entered the game in the seventh inning with the Aggies leading 5-4 over the Eagles, faced a situation where the Eagles had runners on second and third with no outs. Dyals got Tyler Halstead to strike out before Brandon Fife lined out and Jake Sullivan struck out. Dyals did surrender a two-out double in the eighth before getting Mitch Spires to ground out. He retired the Eagles in order in the ninth to give the Aggies the win. Dyals pitched three scoreless innings and had five strikeouts against Winthrop in picking up his sixth save of the season.
Three days later in the first game of a doubleheader at Savannah State, Dyals pitched three more scoreless innings in helping the Aggies in a win. SSU and N.C. A&T were tied at 8 in the bottom of the seventh with SSU runners on first and second when Dyals entered the game. Khalyd Cox moved both runners into scoring position before Kyle Gerdts' RBI double off Dyals gave the Tigers a 10-8 advantage. The Aggies rallied with a three-run eighth inning to take an 11-10 lead. Dyals took over from there. Dyals did give up a one-out single in the SSU eighth, but he followed by striking out Mason Calloway and Barnes to end the inning. The ninth saw the Tigers again put the go-ahead run at the plate as Cox singled with one out. But Gerdts hit into a fielder's choice that eliminated Cox from the base paths. Bryce Luken ended the game by grounding out to third. Dyals got the win to improve to 5-0 on the season.
For the week, Dyals pitched six scoreless innings, gave up four hits and struck out nine. Dyals has an amazing 32 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched, while ranking third in the conference in saves and 97th in the nation.
This will also be a big week for N.C. A&T. They welcome Florida A&M to Greensboro for a three-game series starting with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at War Memorial Stadium. The third game of the series starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Aggies (25-21, 14-7 MEAC) could wrap up the MEAC Southern Division title in what will be their final conference series of the season. The Aggies lead the division by 1 ½ games. The team is hoping a robust crowd at War Memorial Stadium will help them claim the divisional title. #PackTheWar!
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