ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In just his second collegiate game, Darren Hagan (Chichester, Pa./Garnet Valley HS) matched a Coppin State baseball single game record with five base hits, but the Eagles gave up eight unearned runs in the seventh inning in a 16-11 loss at Navy on Wednesday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium. Coppin now stands at 0-2 while the Midshipmen, who have won 16-straight games dating back to last season, improve to 2-0.
A freshman outfielder from Chichester, Pa., Hagan finished 5-of-6 with two doubles and a pair of RBI while also scoring two runs. Hagan is the first Eagles player to record five base hits in a single game since CSU all-time hits leader Nazier McIlwain did so on April 14, 2018 in game two against Delaware State. This is just the ninth time a CSU player has recorded five hits in a game and Hagan is the eighth different player to do so.
“Hagan was facing some very good pitching today, and you can just let him go at the plate since has such good strike zone awareness,” said Coppin State head coach Sherman Reed. “He does everything on a baseball field and he’s proving to be an elite young baseball player. The stage is never too big for him and he plays with a maturity that I have not seen out of a true freshman. We got so lucky with him. This kid is just a talent.”
The Eagles outhit Navy with a whopping 17-13 on the day, which is the most base hits for Coppin in a non-conference game since it had 17 base hits in a historic 35-24 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson on April 13, 2016.
Coppin got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Conner Walker went opposite field for a double down the right field line to score Sebastien Sarabia, who reached on a two-out walk, from first. Walker was thrown out trying to extend his base knock into a triple.
The Eagles put another run across in the third on three base hits, including Hagan’s RBI single through the left side for his first knock of the day. Scoring on the play was Matt Day who led off the frame with one of his two doubles to the gap in right center.
Day started a two-out rally in the fourth, and after Jordan Hamberg drew a walk, Hagan drove both of them in with a double down the left field line to make it a 4-0 game. Sarabia followed up with a single up the middle to drive in Hagan, increasing the lead to five runs.
After three scoreless innings, Navy finally got to CSU southpaw Tim Ruffino in the fourth with two runs on three hits. Ruffino was relieved with two outs, and after allowing an inherited runner to score, freshman Tyler Nichol got through the frame with his first career strikeout.
Day, Hamberg and Hagan helped the Eagles get both of those runs back and added another with RBIs in the Coppin half of the fifth. After a single by Eddie Javier, Jr., and a double by Brandon Watkins, Mike Dorcean was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Day sacrificed Javier in with a bunt down the third baseline. Hamberg and Hagan followed with back-to-back singles to give the Eagles an 8-2 lead.
Nichol allowed a pair of runs in the fifth despite a pair of strikeouts before giving way to freshman Giovanni Canales to start the sixth. Canales allowed just one run in the frame, but Navy put up eight runs in the seventh, all of which were unearned thanks to a pair of costly errors and took a 13-8 lead.
Watkins had an RBI base knock in the eighth to score pinch hitter Colby Garrison to make it a four-run deficit, but Navy tacked on three more in the eighth to increase its advantage to 16-9.
Hagan recorded his fifth hit as he drilled an RBI double down the left field line to score Hamberg to start the ninth and scored on Devyan Dyal’s two-out single to round out the scoring.
Javier reached four times on the day as he went 3-for-5 with a double and a walk while Day, Sarabia and Watkins all had two hits and an RBI apiece. Sarabia also drew a pair of walks to reach safely four times.
Ruffino allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out three in 3.2 innings of work before giving way to his fellow Louisiana native in Nichol. Nichol struck out three of the four batters he retired before allowing two runs.
Canales took the loss despite allowing just one earned run on three hits in 1.2 innings. John Neeld was able to retire the final batter of the seventh as all three of his runs were unearned. Nico Felber gave up three runs on three hits in the eighth.
The Eagles return to the field on February 27 when they are scheduled to host Lehigh in a 12 pm doubleheader at Blandair Park in Columbia, Md.