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Junior RHP Josh Stikeleather pitched three innings of scoreless relief Thursday to give the Aggies a chance to rally in a 5-4 loss to Norfolk State in the MEAC tournament. Photo by Megan Raymond
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

Aggies Comeback Falls Short In Loss to NSU

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 05/18/2017
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SALISBURY, Md. (May 18, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T baseball team did about as good as could be expected against MEAC Pitcher of the Year, Norfolk State's Devin Hemmerich. It was NSU closer Chase Anderson who actually stifled the Aggies over the final two innings to help the Spartans earn a 5-4 win over the Aggies in Game 5 of the MEAC Baseball Championship Tournament at Perdue Stadium.   

The loss puts the Aggies (27-24) in an elimination game against Delaware State Friday at noon. NSU will play Bethune-Cookman 9 a.m. Friday for a chance to play in the championship game on Saturday. If the Aggies are to make it to the championship game, they must win the noon game on Friday and then defeat the loser of the NSU/B-CU contest.

“We had a chance to go up against the pitcher of the year in the conference, and he was good,” said N.C. A&T coach Ben Hall about Hemmerich. “But I felt like we were right around it all day. We came in expecting to have to grind out our at-bats, but he did his job and I thought we did ours. We were right there at the end.”

The Aggies pen pitched five innings of scoreless baseball with junior Josh Stikeleather gobbling three of those innings and senior Bob Peck and junior Cutter Dyals pitching an inning apiece. 

Hemmerich went seven innings, giving up seven hits and four runs while striking out seven. The Spartans (25-20), leading 5-4, went with Anderson to open the eighth. N.C. A&T went down in order against Anderson in the eighth, and Anderson got the first batter he faced in the ninth before senior Kyle Clary was robbed of a hit when Andre' Moore made a diving catch in center field to end what had been a perfect 3-for-3 day for Clary that included a two-run home run.

With the Aggies' last chance in his hands, senior Tim Ravare did reach on an error that put the winning run at the plate in junior Myles Sowell. But Sowell flew out to right to give Anderson his first save of the game. 

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