PETERSBURG, VA – The second day of the 2017 CIAA Baseball Championships featured three matchups to determine the tournament finals. Saint Augustine's University suffered elimination after a 7-3 loss to Virginia State University in the opening game. Chowan University defeated Winston-Salem State University 4-3 to remain in the winner's bracket and advance to the finals. WSSU eliminated the Trojans with a 16-9 nightcap victory at Whaley Colbert Field on Friday, May 5th.
David Markins led the Trojans with two hits, two RBIs, and two runs scored in the 7-3 win over Saint Augustine's. Timothy Carter had two hits, two RBIs, and a run scored for the Falcons. Both squads produced 10 hits; however SAU had four errors compared to just one for Virginia State. Gerald Taylor pitched all nine innings with two strikeouts, one walk, and three runs allowed.
The second contest of the evening featured the two number one seeds from their respective divisions. Chowan exploded with three runs and three hits in the top of the first. Aaron Flanagan singled and scored the only run for the Hawks in the second inning. CIAA Player of the Year Ivan Acuna took base on balls in the bottom of the second. Acuna scored from third off a walk with bases loaded.
Chowan held a 4-1 lead for five straight innings. Winston-Salem State added two runs off solo homeruns from Emilio Abreu and Landon Stenier in the bottom of the eighth. The Hawks forced out on the first three batters in the ninth to hold onto the 4-3 win. Cody Smith won the game on the mound with 11 strikeouts, six walks, and only four hits allowed.
WSSU faced Virginia State in the final game of the night with elimination on the line. The Rams outscored VSU 7-1 in the first two innings. The Trojans cut their deficit to 8-6 by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth. However, Winston-Salem State pulled away by outscoring VSU 8-2 in the last four innings. Brandon Ford had four hits, five runs scored, and two RBIs for WSSU.
The 2017 CIAA Baseball Championship final game will be between Chowan and Winston-Salem State on Saturday, May 6th at the Whaley Colbert Field on the campus of Virginia State. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. This is a rematch of last year's championship game. Chowan will attempt to repeat as champions, while the Rams will have to beat CU twice to claim their sixth title in seven seasons.
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