Norfolk State sweeps Hofstra
Norfolk State junior right hander Ryan Shook pitched a complete game in a 3-2 Spartans’ win in game 1, then NSU rallied to win the nightcap 5-4 on Kevin Curd’s walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth as the Spartans swept Hofstra on Saturday afternoon at Marty L. Miller Field.
Curd, who entered the nightcap in the top of the eighth as a defensive replacement, lined a two-strike pitch from Stephan Kungl (0-2) down the left-field line into the corner. Sammy Serafine, who singled with two outs and no one on base, just slid across the plate ahead of the relay throw as the Spartans (5-5) completed the sweep.
NSU had to rally just to force extra innings. The Spartans trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh and final inning as Hofstra right hander Rob Kumbatovic kept the Spartans in check. But Kumbatovic left after allowing a one-out double to John Lynch in the bottom of the seventh. He gave way to Bryan Verbitsky, who retired John Rasberry on a groundout. But Chris Joyce lined Verbitsky’s first pitch into left field to score Lynch from third with the tying run.
Hofstra (0-8) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Danny Poma’s two-out bloop single to center field.
NSU took a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the second as Hofstra committed four errors. The Spartans did not get a hit in the inning, but took advantage of a walk, a hit batter and the quartet of errors to take a lead.
But in the top of the third, Taylor Stuart’s two-out, two-run triple tied the game at 3-all after an NSU error prolonged the inning.
Hofstra took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Poma led off with a double and scored one out later on Dylan Nasiatka’s hit-and-run single.
Ray Morton (1-1) got the win for the Spartans in game 2, pitching a scoreless top of the eighth inning. Joyce went 2-for-4 and Serafine scored a pair of runs.
In game 1, Shook (1-2) pitched his first career complete game, allowing seven hits and two runs with four strikeouts over seven innings. Joyce went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI singles, and Blaze Zeilman drove in a run with an RBI double.
Zeilman’s hit gave NSU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Joyce increased the lead to 2-0 in the third with his first RBI hit.
The Pride got within 2-1 on T.J. Thomas’ RBI single in the fourth, but Joyce made it 3-1 with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Hofstra got within 3-2 on a double play groundout in the sixth, but Shook kept the Pride off the board from there on out.
Joyce and John Rasberry each went 2-for-3 for NSU in game 1. Thomas and Scott A’Hara had two hits apiece for the Pride.
Joyce finished the day 4-for-7. He now has hit safely in all 10 games this season, with eight multi-hit games.