Hatters Offense Erupts in 10-3 Win Over Bethune-Cookman

Hatters Offense Erupts in 10-3 Win Over Bethune-Cookman

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DeLAND, Fla. - After scoring just six runs in a three-game weekend series against NJIT and being blanked for the first five innings Tuesday night, the Stetson offense finally came to life late in a 10-3 victory over Volusia County neighbor Bethune-Cookman at Melching Field.
 
The Hatters (15-17) scored a single run in the sixth inning against Wildcats starter Alec Mendez (0-1) and then two more in the seventh to take a 3-2 lead before exploding for seven runs against the Cookman (13-21) bullpen in the eighth.
 
The late offensive fireworks overshadowed the story of the game as the two freshman starting pitchers dueled through the first seven innings. Mendez allowed just one unearned run on two hits through the first six innings while Stetson starter Bret Neilan held the Wildcats to just two runs on seven hits through six.
 
Neilan was lifted with one out in the seventh after allowing his first unintentional walk of the game. Junior Mitchell Senger (1-3) picked up the win, but it was a defensive play by Jacob Koos at second base, starting an inning-ending double play with a diving stop and flip to Jorge Arenas, that allowed Senger to escape the inning.
 
The Hatters finally got to Mendez in the bottom of the inning, getting a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single up the middle from sophomore Eric Foggo to score Noah Dickerson and Austin Bogart to give Stetson a 3-2 lead.
 
Senior Vlad Nunez, who picked up his seventh save of the year, put the Wildcats down with three strikeouts in the eighth before the Hatters went to work against the Cookman pen.
 
Mark Townsend got things started with a leadoff triple against Carlos Lequerica. E.J. Doskow singled him home for a 4-2 Stetson lead, after his foul pop in front of the first base dugout landed without a play on the ball. Later in the inning, with two on and two out against  Jordan Delucia, Bogart drew a walk to load the bases before Kyle Ball was hit by a pitch to make it 5-2.
 
Nick Cardieri followed with a deep fly ball down the left field line that the Wildcats' Brady Van Hook apparently lost in the lights. Three runs scored on the double to make it 8-2.
 
BCU went back to the pen after a walk to Koos and Nick Vigilante came on to pitch. He was called for a balk and then delivered a wild pitch to score Cardieri and then surrendered an RBI single to Cardieri.
 
The Wildcats got a run back in the ninth on a sacrifice fly, but Nunez closed them out for the Stetson win.
 
Despite the 10 runs, the Hatter managed just eight hits in the game. Bethune-Cookman finished with 10 hits, with two each from Josten Heron and Joseph Fernando.
 
The Hatters will head back onto the road this weekend, making their first trip to Virginia to face league-leading Liberty in a three-game series. Friday's series opener from Lynchburg is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the game on Saturday set for 4 p.m. and Sunday's series finale scheduled for 11 a.m. All three games in the series are slated to be broadcast on ESPN+.

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