Virginia State University withstood a ninth-inning rally by Claflin University, edging the Panthers 14-13 in a non-conference baseball game Sunday at Mirmow Field.
The victory gave Virginia State the series at 2-1 and improved the Trojans to 4-1-1 on the season, while Claflin dropped to 1-6.
Claflin's comeback started in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Panthers placed three runs on the scoreboard, cutting the Trojans' lead to 14-10.
After Virginia State failed to score in the top of the ninth, Jonathan Parnell II singled and came home on Darrell Langston two-run homer to open Claflin's half of the inning, pulling the Panthers within two, 14-12.
Harold Smith made the contest 14-13 with a two-out grounder that scored Cleveland Westbrook from third base. With two outs and the bases clear, Kyriq Woods doubled and Chad Parker drew a walk, putting runners on first and second for the Panthers. Jamar Hinton, who came in relief of Jason Martinez, ended Claflin's rally by striking out Silvaris “Andre” Hooks, Jr to end the game.
Claflin ended the game with a season-high 18 hits that included four home runs. Contributing in the game for Claflin were Langston who was 3-for-6, with a home run, three runs scored and 3RBIs; Smith who was 2-for-5, a home run and 4RBIs; Parker who went 2-for-3 with a home run and 3RBIs; Craig Hopkins with a home run; and Parnell II, who was 5-6 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Virginia State was led by Jahleel Sewer with three hits, a home run and 4RBIs.
Gerald Taylor was the winning pitcher for Virginia State, while Torriun Towers took the loss for Claflin.
Claflin will return action this weekend, traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida, for a three-game series with Eckerd College. Action gets underway Saturday with a double-header beginning at 1 p.m. The second game will start approximately 30 minutes after the competition of the opener. The third game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at noon.