Hawks Reach Historic Heights, Stun Pittsburgh
Isaiah Chambers' double put the Hawks up for good
May 4, 2016

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania —  Today’s performance by the Maryland Eastern Shore baseball team may have been the most impressive comeback and could also be described as the biggest win in program history. That’s because the Hawks—facing a 6-2 deficit—rallied for seven runs in the eighth to stun the Pittsburgh Panthers by a final of 9-6 at Charles L. Cost Field.

The victory marks the second ever win for the program against a school competing out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and the first since 1995 when the Hawks beat the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland Eastern Shore is also the first program in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to defeat an ACC school in 2016.

Also, today was the ninth non-conference victory for the Hawks, another new all-time high for the program. The 1994 squad won eight games outside the MEAC, but no one had ever won nine. The Hawks improved to 15-30 on the season and are one way away from tying last year’s total of 16 wins.

“Today was a great win for this team and for the UMES Baseball program.” Hawks coach John O’Neil said after the game. “The team just did their job and competed. Our guys showed a lot of character, especially after all the issues yesterday.”

The issues yesterday--a late arrival in Pittsburgh that pushed last night’s start time to 9:15p.m.—may have caused Maryland Eastern Shore to begin the day a little sluggish, falling behind as far as 6-2.

But that all changed in the eighth. Pitt’s starter had been relieved after a superb performance of seven innings and the Hawks quickly found their stride against the Panthers’ bullpen.  After sophomores Jessey Valdez (Dorchester, Massachusetts) and Jamison Trower (Chesterfield, Virginia) reached base, freshman Tom Summers (West Decatur, Pennsylvania) doubled home Valdez and put two Hawks in scoring position. Two walks—one to load the bases and another to force home a run—cut the deficit to two.

Then sophomore Isaiah Chambers (Bowie, Maryland) stepped up with a chance to do some damage. Early in the count Chambers ripped a ball down the left field line, allowing all of his teammates to score, giving his team the lead. A pair of runs would come in afterwards as the Hawks scored seven runs and sent 11 men to the plate.

From there, sophomore Jordan Turner (Baltimore, Maryland) silenced the Panthers to close out the game. Turner earned his first collegiate win for his effort.

Overall, senior Mike Escanilla (Waldorf, Maryland) went 4-of-5 at the plate and knocked three Hawks while scoring once himself. His career hit total stands at 215, which puts him 10 behind the all-time leader Tre-von Johnson. Chambers’ double was part of a 2-for-2 day at the plate with a sacrifice bunt and a hit by pitch, and junior Justin Somerville (New Windsor, Maryland) scored three runs thanks to two walks.

Along with Turner, sophomores Toby Hoskins (North East, Maryland) and Scott Bean (Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania) combined to deliver one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.  

The Hawks are hoping this win could act as a springboard to a crucial MEAC weekend with Delaware State. Maryland Eastern Shore must win three out of four over the next two weeks (there is a makeup date scheduled at home in two weeks) in order to keep the conference tournament dreams alive.

“This win should give us the confidence we need to go out and be successful this upcoming weekend.” O’Neil said.

The first game between the Hawks and Hornets is this Saturday at 3:00p.m. in Dover.



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