NORFOLK, Va., – Bethune-Cookman University won the 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Baseball Tournament championship on Monday at the Marty L. Miller Baseball Field on the campus of Norfolk State University.
The Wildcats (26-31) clinched the title and posted an undefeated mark throughout the double-elimination tournament with a 4-2 championship victory over Norfolk State (23-26).
The championship is the first for B-CU since 2012, losing last year in the Championship Final, snapping a streak of seven consecutive championships. With the 2014 crown, the Wildcats have won eight of the last 10 MEAC titles and 17 overall.
Head coach Jason Beverlin was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach, while Wildcats pitcher Montana Durapau was selected the Most Outstanding Performer.
“This long road trip that we’ve been on really helped our guys come together as one and to peak at the right time,” Beverlin said. “Playing some really quality opponents in Washington and Auburn, and then coming here we knew it was going to be a tough game. The teams in our league are definitely great opponents. Our guys coming together and really swinging the bats at the right time and our pitching staying consistent, they didn’t disappoint at all.”
Although the Spartans made the first strike, scoring in the top of the first on a Cameron Day RBI single to right field, the Wildcats were quick to counter. B-CU capitalized on a Josh Johnson leadoff walk, as the senior right fielder crossed the plate on Eric Sams’ RBI double into the left field corner for the tie at 1-1.
The Wildcats made the most important move of the day in the second, changing the game with one solid swing of the bat by left fielder Bryant Munoz, who brought three runners home with a double to the left center field. The Spartans responded with a single run in the third on a Cody Ellis RBI single up the middle, but the Wildcats held onto the 4-2 lead with tough defense.
The Wildcats used three pitchers to secure the game from the mound. Starter Gabriel Hernandez carried the Wildcats through four innings before yielding to Christopher Waltermire. A redshirt senior, Hernandez allowed two runs on four hits. Waltermire (2-5) covered the fifth and sixth with three hits to earn the win, while John Sever took over the final three frames with no hits and three strikeouts for his third save.
Five Wildcats collected hits in the contest, with Munoz logging three RBI ,on 1-for-4 hitting and Sams registering one RBI on 1-for-5 hitting.
2014 MEAC All-Tournament Team
Zach Brigham - Savannah State University
Mendez Elder - Savannah State University
Stephen Bull - Maryland Eastern Shore
Bennie Robinson - Florida A&M University
Marlon Gibbs - Florida A&M University
Matt Outman - Norfolk State University
Joshua Vales - Norfolk State University
Ross Caldwell - Norfolk State University
Montana Durapau - Bethune-Cookman University
Shawn McCarty - Bethune-Cookman University
Zach Olszewski - Bethune-Cookman University