Alabama State Wins East Division Title
Alabama State 9 Mississippi Valley State 1 (Game 1)
Alabama State 8 Mississippi Valley State 7 (Game 2 12 Innings)
ITTA BENA, Miss. - Alabama State finished off their fourth Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) sweep of the season as they swept a doubleheader from Mississippi Valley State Sunday, in turn claiming the East Division of the conference.
Alabama State (27-20, 18-6 SWAC) trailed for much of fame one until they were able to tie the game in the fifth and take the lead in the sixth, running away for a 9-1 victory in the opener over Mississippi Valley State – the game that clinched the division title.
The Delta Devils were able to get on the board first with a single run in the third, before Alabama State answered with a Gustavo Rios single to short that scored Joseph Estrada from third to tie the contest. The Hornets added four in the sixth inning to take an insurmountable 5-1 lead. Noel Cheneau led off the inning with a triple and scored on the play on an errant throw for a 2-1 lead, before Estrada hit a two-run single to left and Ray Hernandez doubled for the four-run lead.
Alabama State added a pair of runs in the seventh, including on a squeeze by Yamil Pagan before adding a run in each the eighth and ninth for the final margin.
Cheneau finished game one going 5-for-5 with a double and triple, and with two runs scored. Estrada finished 3-for-5 with three runs batted in, while Cristopher DeGuzman finished with three hits. Gustavo Rios and Chris Lewis each added two hits each in the win.
Dalton Wilder (3-3) picked up the win, working 7.1 innings and allowing one run off of six hits with eight strikeouts.
The Hornets used a pair of home runs, including one in the 12th inning off the bat of Hernandez to take an 8-7 victory in the nightcap to complete the sweep. After falling behind 7-5 after eight innings, the Hornets were able to take advantage of a pair of Mississippi Valley State errors to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Estrada doubled to right to send DeGuzman to third, who then scored on a throwing error from right to trim the deficit to 7-6. The Hornets then tied the game when Joshua Dunson hit into a fielder’s choice that pushed Estrada home on a throwing error, setting the stage for Hernandez in the 12th.
Estrada finished 3-for-6 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI, while Hernandez finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and three RBI. Rios finished 2-for-5 with three runs batted in, including a two-run home run in the third, while DeGuzman finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Chase Laney (6-1) picked up the win with 5.2 innings of relief, allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts. Ivanniel Vazquez got the start for the Hornets and worked 5.2 innings, allowing three runs off of five hits with nine strikeouts, as the Hornets recorded 17 strikeouts as a team in game two.
Courtesy: Alabama State Sports Information
Grambling State 7 Texas Southern 6
HOUSTON, Texas – The Tigers of Texas Southern University gave its largest crowd of 2018 an exciting finish to the regular season Sunday before succumbing 7-6 to visiting Grambling State.
Rafael Ramirez’ home run to lead off the top of the ninth highlighted a two-run inning for Grambling (23-22, 14-10 SWAC); the two runs proved to be just enough as the hometown Tigers rallied for one run and had the potential tying run on base when the game ended.
Though the loss ended Texas Southern’s (23-25, 17-6 SWAC) nine-game home winning streak, another streak – Kamren Dukes’ hitting streak – stayed intact. The senior from Pearland, Texas (Pearland) knocked an RBI single in the bottom of the third that scored Trey LeBlanc, and pushed his hitting streak to 34 consecutive games.
Duke’s hit, which was also the 200th of his collegiate career, moved him to within one game of the longest hitting streak in Division I this season. Jameson Hannah of Dallas Baptist recorded a 35-game hitting streak earlier this season; Dukes’ 34-game streak is the longest active streak in the nation.
Ryan Huntington picked up the win in relief for Grambling, tossing two and two-thirds innings. He likely would have picked up a three-inning save were it not for TSU’s Christian Sanchez hitting a game-tying, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The blast was Sanchez’ 16th of the season, which leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Trailing by two heading into the bottom of the ninth, TSU began to rally as it had in the previous inning. Blake Hicks, one of 11 seniors honored by the team during the pre-game Senior Day festivities, led off with a single to center field. He was then replaced by pinch-runner Isaiah Perry, who then got to third base on OJ Oloruntimilehin’s double to deep left field.
With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, Huntington got a looking strikeout of Trey LeBlanc, who had two hits in three previous at-bats. The next batter, Ricky Urbano, hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Perry to score.
With two outs and Keanu Van Kuren at the plate, Grambling sent reliever Ryan Evans to the mound. With a pinch-hit in his earlier at-bat, Van Kuren knocked a fly ball toward the gap in left-centerfield, but Isaiah Torres’ sliding catch preserved the Grambling victory and prevented a TSU sweep of the series.
Oloruntimilehin led TSU with three hits – all doubles – in four at-bats. Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs for Grambling.
In spite of the loss, Texas Southern will enter next week’s SWAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed from the conference’s West Division. The Tigers wrapped up the division title – the third in program history – with Friday’s win over Grambling.
Courtesy: Texas Southern Sports Information
Arkansas Pine Bluff 6 Prairie View A&M 2 (10 Innings)
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Arkansas Pine Bluff defeated Prairie View A&M 6-2 on Sunday to take the rubber game of the three-game series.
The contest was scoreless until the fourth. Prairie View A&M (13-33 ,8-16 SWAC) struck first when Corbin Jamison singled to shortstop, to drive in a run and make the score 1-0.
Arkansas Pine Bluff (20-21,12-10 SWAC) answered in the sixth. Sergio Esparza hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and tie the score at 1-1.
The contest went to the tenth inning still ties at 1-1. In the extra frame, Esparza reached base on an error that allowed a run to score. Later, Nick Kreutzer belted a three-run homer to make the score 6-1.
Prairie View A&M scored one run in the bottom of the 10th, but were unable to complete the comeback, resulting in the UAPB victory.
Kreutzer was one for five with three RBis in the win for the Golden Lions.
Daniel Lingua was 2 for 4 with one RBI in the loss to pace PVAM.
Alabama A&M 12 Alcorn State 7
LORMAN, Miss. – Alabama A&M took the final game of this weekend's SWAC series 12-7 to spoil Senior Day for the Alcorn State University baseball program Sunday at Willie E. "Rat" McGowan Stadium.
The Braves (12-34, 7-17 SWAC) recognized their 2018 class of senior before the start of the game. Players were presented with a plaque and took pictures with their family members.
Several seniors had big days at the plate. A.J. Makarewiczposted a 3-for-4 effort with a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. Justin Barna finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a pair of runs and Devin Walden went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Der'Vincent Hamilton hit 1-for-4 with a run and Wallace Rios Jimenez also batted 1-for-4 with a walk. Redshirt-sophomore Kyle Jenkins hit 3-for-4 and junior Brendly Martina also had a multi-hit performance as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Bukhari Brown (1-7) took the loss after allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two of the 21 batters he faced in 4.0 innings. George Osborne III pitched the other 5.0 innings in relief and gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with three punch outs.
The Bulldogs (12-37, 9-15) got off to a fast start with three runs to start the game. After back-to-back hits to lead off the top of the first, both runners advanced on a wild pitch. The visitors then drew a walk to juice the bases and opened the scoring with a two-RBI single to right. With runners in scoring position, the next Bulldog fouled out to right, but a throwing error let another run come in.
Alcorn got its offense going in the fourth with one run on three hits and an error, all with two outs. McGowan hit a ground-rule double to left center and Makarewicz brought him in with a single to left. The Orlando, Fla. native reached second on the play courtesy of an error by the AAMU left fielder and took third on a Jenkins single to third, but the Braves couldn't do any more damage as the Bulldogs got the next two outs to get out of the inning.
AAMU added to its lead in the top of the fifth with seven runs on five hits and a pair of errors. The Braves were able to get four runs back in the bottom half of the frame. Walden singled to third and moved up on an error on the throw to first. Rios Jimenez then singled to right but was thrown out as he tried to stretch for a double. Barna brought in Walden from third with a hit to left, Hamilton was hit by a pitch, and Hunter Wilson doubled to right for another Alcorn score. McGowan scored Hamilton on a single to short and Wilson touched home as Makarewicz reached on a fielder's choice.
The Braves pulled to within 10-6 with a run in the eighth, but the Maroon and White answered with two more in ninth. Down to its last three outs, Alcorn got its first two batters on the corners as Barna singled through the left side and Hamilton found a hole in the right side of the defense. AAMU snuffed out any hope of a comeback though as they turned a double play. Barna would come in, but the visitors induced a ground out to take the series 2-1.
Courtesy: Alcorn State Sports Information
Jackson State 3 Southern 2 (11 Innings)
BATON ROUGE, La. – Jackson State defeated Southern, 3-2 in 11 innings on Sunday.
The game was scoreless until the fourth. Jackson State took the lead when Stephen Vidal homered to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Southern tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. John Pope singled to allow a run to score and tie the score at 1-1.
Jackson State added another run in the fifth. Roberet Perteet knocked in an RBI single to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage,
Southern tied the score in the bottom of the eighth. Pope hit a sacrifice fly with a runner on third to make the score 2-2, and force extra innings.
In the 11th. Jesus Santana knocked in a sacrifice fly, which allowed a run to score, to make the score 3-2. The Tigers held on to take the victory.