DeLand, Fla. - On Tuesday night at Melching Field defensive miscues by the home team Hatters allowed Bethune-Cookman to take home a 4-3 win and a 2-2 season series split. Stetson, ranked No. 17 this week by Baseball America dropped to 31-10, while the Wildcats improved to 26-19 on the season.
Although a pair of errors led to three unearned runs for Bethune-Cookman, the Hatters had their chances. They left 17 runners on base after out hitting the Wildcats 13-12 and drawing nine walks.
In an effort to save arms within a hard-working pitching staff, Stetson sent six pitchers to the mound with each tossing 2.2 innings or less. Robbie Powell (Punta Gorda, Fla.) was on the hill when the winning run crossed the plate. With two outs and a runner on second base a routine fly ball to right field was dropped and the run scored unearned. It was the first loss of the season for Powell who dropped to 4-1.
The other unfortunate play for the Hatters came in the top of the 5th when a groundball that had the potential of leading to an inning-ending double play was mishandled. The Wildcats ended up scoring three runs in the inning.
Offensively the highlight of the game was the seventh home run of the season by Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) leading off the 6th inning. Rickles was 2-for-5 in the game. Robert Crews (Port Charlotte, Fla.) improved his batting average to a team-leading .365 on the season after a 3-for-5 effort at the plate. Kyle Zech (Naples, Fla.) and Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) also had two hits for the Hatters.
Stetson will remain at home this weekend to host North Florida in a conference series. The games are scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Stetson fans can see the games on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.