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Courtesy: SWAC.org

Baseball Recaps: February 16

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 02/16/2018
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Illinois-Chicago 3, Southern 0

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Southern opened its 2018 season with a 3-0 loss to Illinois-Chicago on Friday in the first of two conests in the Andre Dawson Classic in New Orleans.

The Jaguars only managed four hits in the loss.  Michael Wright totaled two of the four hits for the Jaguars in the contest.

Tyler Robinson threw seven innings, allowing just three hits but giving up two runs in the loss.

Southern 8, Grambling State 7

NEW ORLEANS, La.- Southern University outfielder Ashanti Wheatley launched a walk-off solo homerun over the left field fence at Wesley Barrow Stadium to lift the Jaguars to an exhilarating 8-7 extra innnings win over rival Grambling in the Andre Dawson Classic hosted by Major League Baseball.

With the win, Southern salvaged a split during Day One of the annual HBCU baseball showcase and secured the first career win for first-year head coach Kerrick Jackson, who assume the helm of the SU program last June.

With one out and facing a 1-2 count in the 10th, Wheatley turned on a fastball GSU pitcher Andy Escano left of the heart of the plate and blasted a solo shot over the left field fence, setting off a jubilant celebration at home plate.

Wheatley's heroics punctuated a wild end to the Jaguars first win of 2018.

Southern trailed Grambling 6-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth when the Jaguars exploded for a 5-run inning highlighted by Javeyan Williams 3-RBI triple, which he scored on after a throwing error by D'Quan Matthews.

After Grambling tied the game at 7 on Marshawn Taylors' sacrifice fly to score Phil Adams Jr. in the top of the ninth, Southern had a scoring threat negated after Williams was called out at third after being tripped by Taylor as he rounded second base.\

Courtesy: Southern Sports Information

Alcorn State 5, Arkansas Pine Bluff 4

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Trailing 4-0 after six innings, the Alcorn State University baseball program rallied for two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-4 in the season-opener Friday at Maestri Field as part of the Andre Dawson Classic.  

The Braves (1-0) cut the deficit to 4-2 in the seventh with a two-run bomb by sophomore Kyle Jenkins over the left field fence. Alcorn further chipped into it, 4-3, with a solo shot by senior Kirt Cormier in the eighth.  

The game-winner came with two outs in the eighth when junior Hunter Wilson blasted a two-run shot to right center to put the Braves ahead for good 5-4.  

Senior Jahborus Smith entered on the mound in the bottom of the eighth and tossed 2.0 innings of no-hit ball to close it down and earn a save. He struck out three of the six batters he faced.   Alcorn fanned 13 UAPB (0-1) hitters total in the game as senior Carlos Lopez started and struck out 10 in 6.0 innings. Junior Zachary Perez picked up the win after tossing a scoreless seventh frame.  

Six different Braves recorded hits in the match. In addition to homers by Jenkins, Cormier and Wilson, senior Justin Barnasingled up the middle in the fifth, junior Brandon Barna hit one to center in the seventh and senior Der'Vincent Hamiltonsingled to left in the eighth.  

With a pair of walks, senior Wallace Rios Jimenez extended his on-base streak to 42 straight games. The streak is now over the course of three seasons. Rios is a SWAC Preseason All-Conference First-Team selection.  

For UAPB, Austin Toth and Davion White each tallied a multi-hit game. Peyton Burks got the start and was given a no-decision after allowing two runs in 6.1 innings. Nathan Sawrie tossed 1.2 innings and was handed the loss after surrendering three runs.  

Alcorn won its season-opener for the first time since 2012 when it knocked off Air Force 7-5 on a neutral field in Baton Rouge.

Courtesy: Alcorn State Sports Information

Alabama A&M 8, Fort Wayne 7

HUNTSVILLE-  Alabama A&M's Dalton Mitchelldrove in Brandon Moore with a one out single to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Bulldogs defeated Fort Wayne 8-7 Friday afternoon in the season opener.

The Bulldogs improve to 1-0 overall, while Fort Wayne falls to 0-1.

Alabama A&M got off to a quick start as freshman pitcher Jose Figueroa held the Mastodons scoreless with three back-to-back strikeouts in the top of the first. The Bulldogs scored one run in the first to give them a 1-0 edge before they took a 2-0 lead in the third.

In the top of the fourth, a sacrifice fly to center field would allow Fort Wayne to cut AAMU's deficit, 2-1.

Jonathan Smith II would respond for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fourth with a triple to right field to score Mitchell and Wilanier Betancourt. JT O'Reel followed with a single to third base to drive in Smith and give AAMU a 5-1 lead.

In the next inning, Fort Wayne plated a pair of runs with back-to-back doubles. They were able to hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, before a single to right center in the top of the sixth was able to bring them within one of the Bulldogs.

After both teams were held scoreless in the seventh inning, The Dons' homered at the beginning of the eighth inning to tie the game at five.

The score wouldn't be tied for long as Carson McGregory smacked a double to right field to drive in O'Reel for the 6-5 lead.

Fort Wayne wouldn't give up that easy as they opened the top of the ninth doubling to right field to tie the game at six before single to center would allow them to gain their second lead of the game, 7-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Betancourt sent the game to an extra inning with a double to center field to drive in Will Stripling.

In the final frame, Fort Wayne was unable to get a hit as the Bulldogs went on to secure the win after a single to right field from Mitchell drove in Moore for the 8-7 victory.

Betancourt went for 4 for 5 on the day which including one RBI, one double and one triple. He recorded a .800 batting average for the Bulldogs. 

Due to the weather, the second game of the doubleheader was not played, but the two teams will look to close out their series Sunday with a doubleheader that starts at 11 a.m. 

Courtesy: Alabama A&M Sports Information

Alabama State 8, Prairie View A&M 7

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Prairie View A&M baseball team lost a late lead in losing its 2018 season opener to Alabama State 8-7 Friday night in the Andre Dawson Classic.

Corbin Jamison homered, Ezekiel Bear went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Andrew Garcia went 2-for-4, and Calvin Rucker went 2-for-4 for the Panthers (0-1).

PVAMU took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first on a solo homer by Jamison to left field on a 1-0 pitch.

Prairie View A&M extended to a 2-0 lead in the fourth. With one out, Bear singled to right and scored on a double to center by Avery Williams.

After Alabama State (1-0) tied the score in the top of the fifth, the Panthers regained the lead in their half of the inning at 3-2 on a double to center by Garcia, scoring Daniel Lingua who led off with a walk.

Prairie View A&M added a pair of runs in the sixth. Bear led off with a double to left field, and advanced to third on a groundout. Steven Williams’ single to center scored Bear. With two outs, Williams scored on an error to give the Panthers a 5-2 lead.

The Hornets tied the game with three runs in the seventh before PVAMU went back ahead in the home seventh. With one out, Tyler Gordon singled and advanced to second on a balk. Rucker’s single to center scored Gordon. Bear then singled to right field, moving Rucker to third. Xavier Jefferson’s sacrifice fly scored Rucker to give the Panthers a 7-5 lead.

Courtesy: Prairie View A&M Sports Information