The Chowan University baseball team earned the first CIAA Championship in program history
CARY, NC- The Chowan University baseball team ended Winston-Salem State University's quest for six straight CIAA Championships on Saturday in thrilling fashion. The Hawks, needing two wins to capture the CIAA title, defeated the Rams 11-2 in game one and secured a 7-2 win in the if-necessary game to earn the first CIAA Championship in program history.
Chowan advances to the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament with the win, carrying a 26-23 overall record. Winston-Salem State's season comes to an end with a 29-21 mark.
Head Coach Taylor Furlough noted, "All four games this week; not just today's games, were team wins. We were pretty beaten up heading into today, but everyone left everything they had in Cary. I'm glad the seniors could get this opportunity; to celebrate a CIAA Championship. They worked so hard for this…all of our guys have."
In the opening game, the Hawks struck first in the contest, plating one run behind Wade Wyatt Jr.'s RBI single. The Rams answered back in the bottom of the fourth using Landon Steiner's solo homerun. In the top of the sixth, Jack Downum's RBI double and a Ram error pushed Chowan ahead 4-1. Winston-Salem State's Willie McRae homered in the bottom of the seventh to restore some life to the Rams' offense.
An RBI single by Connor Arcobasso, passed ball, infield single by Wyatt Jr., base hit up the middle by Josh Martin, and three-run double by Emory Chopp handed the Hawks a commanding 11-2 lead in the top of the eighth. The Rams were unable to answer back offensively.
Matt Kaplan picked up the win on the mound for the Hawks, forcing the if-necessary game. He held Winston-Salem State to seven hits and two runs (two earned) in seven innings of work. Austin McGhee entered the contest in-relief and held the Rams hitless in two innings of work.
The Hawks pounded out 15 hits over the course of game one led by Arcobasso, Downum, and Martin with three hits apiece.
Devin Mclemore took the loss for the Rams. He allowed four runs off of eight hits in seven innings of work while striking out five batters. Steiner, Randy Norris and McRae each recorded two hits in the setback.
The Hawks kept the momentum rolling in game two to secure the historic win. Wyatt Jr.'s RBI single in the third gave the Hawks an early 1-0 jump. Winston-Salem answered back in the fourth, scoring on a bases-loaded walk to knot the score 1-1. A Ram error in the seventh led to an additional run for the Hawks. Holding a 2-1 lead in the eighth, two passed balls, Downum's RBI single, along with Arcobasso's two-run triple gave the Hawks all they would need to secure the 7-2 win.
Austin McGhee, Tre Harper, and Cody Smith all pitched in the win with Smith earning his school-record ninth win of the season. He pitched the final 3.1 innings of the contest and allowed just two hits while striking out three batters.
Wyatt Jr. paced the Hawks with two hits and one RBI while Arcobasso added one hit and two RBI in the win. Martin, Chopp, and Downum each notched one hit apiece for Chowan.
Jonathon Cummings was credited with the loss on the mound for Winston-Salem State. Jason Baytop and Steiner each notched two hits for the Rams in the setback.
The NCAA Division II Baseball Selection Show is set to air Sunday, May 15th, at 10pm on www.ncaa.com.