DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 24, 2018) – North Carolina A&T baseball split a twin bill with the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Saturday at the Jackie Robinson Ball Park. The Aggies combined for three home runs on Saturday and captured their first road win of 2018 in Game 1 by defeating the Wildcats 4-2. The Wildcats won Game 2, 5-2. The Aggies are 9-13 overall and 2-3 in the MEAC.
Four Aggies had multiple hits in Game 1. Junior designated hitter Jarrett Norman led the Aggies going 2-for-4 with the only extra-base hit. Senior infielder Forest Kimbrell went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and an RBI while senior catcher Adan Ordonez was 2-for-5. The Aggies recorded their eighth double-digit hit game of the season with 10 and their pitching held the Wildcats to only four hits.
Junior right-hander Tim Luth (2-1) earned his second win of the season. N.C. A&T's starter went seven innings, walked three, struck out two and surrendered two earned runs. RHP Josh Bottenfield picked up his first save of the season by pitching two scoreless innings.
Trailing the Wildcats 2-1, back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth inning put the Aggies in front for good in Game 1. Sophomore Zach McLean hit his first homer of the season and sophomore infielder A.J. Hunt had his second of the year to give the Aggies a 3-2 advantage. Norman followed the homers by doubling to left to later score on an RBI single to center by Kimbrell.
N.C. A&T led early due to a wild pitch that allowed senior outfielder Greg White to score his team-leading 15th run of the year. White was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a single by Ordonez to set up the run. The Wildcats (8-15, 3-5 MEAC) produced three hits leading to two runs in their first.
In Game 2, N.C. A&T had more hits than the Wildcats, but a three-run fifth inning gave the Wildcats a steady advantage.
Marcello Betances (0-4) allowed four earned runs on four hits and four walks in the seven-inning game. Betances struck two Wildcats in 4.1 innings pitched. B-CU homered in the fourth inning, used a sacrifice fly, fielder’s choice and an RBI single to tack on three in the fifth. Their second sac fly of the game scored their fifth run in the sixth inning.
Hunt singled to left in the second inning which was followed by a single to right from senior outfielder Dawnoven Smith. In the fifth inning, two additional hits finally put N.C. A&T on the board. Senior infielder Milton Rivera led the inning off with a shot to second base. Rivera scored on a play where McLean singled but was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Hunt went yard for the second time on the day to lead off the sixth inning. Hunt’s third home run of the season was a solo shot to left field. McLean and Hunt went 2-for-3 at the plate registering an RBI each in the second game. Kimbrell was aggressive tying a season-high with two stolen bases.
The Aggies and Wildcats will play the rubber game