Miles College and Albany State squeaked out one-run wins to cap off an exciting day of baseball at the SIAC Baseball Tournament, which will crown a conference champion on Sunday.
Both schools came into the tournament favored to reach the championship game.
They are ranked number one and three in the HBCU National Baseball Poll. Miles sits atop the poll and Albany is in the number three spot.
Miles faced a determined Tuskegee team and trailed most of the game as they could not ruff up Christian Marshall who kept them at bay with his fastball for seven innings.
Tuskegee took an early lead on a homer to left by Josh Lewis. Miles came back to take a 4 to 1 lead in the eighth.Tuskegee started a rally in their half of the eighth.
They had runners sitting on first and second when Miles pulled off a hidden ball trick on a pick-off attempt at second.
The runner thought the ball had sailed into center field, only to be caught in a rundown when he discovered the ball was in the shortstop’s glove.
Tuskegee rallied for two runs in their half of the ninth, but fell short 4-3.
In an elimination game later in the day, Tuskegee lost another one run game, 8-7, to Kentucky State.
This game was marred by charges of unfairness from the Tuskegee coaching staff to the umpires before the crew left the field.
When the umpires were escorted past the Tuskegee cheering section by security, they were taunted with charges of racism.
In the seventh inning a controversial call on a ball hit down the right field line was ruled a fair ball and resulted in a double that tied the game.
The ball appeared to be at least 10 feet in foul territory when Tuskegee right fielder Ryan Green dove to catch what everyone in the ball park thought was a foul ball. The ball popped out of Green’s glove.
Hank Aaron, Jr. Scouting the SIAC Tourney for the Atlanta Braves said, “That Ball was clearly foul.”
Kentucky State advanced to play Claflin University, who plummeted Lane College and Clark-Atlanta University to stay alive in the losers bracket.
Albany State earned the right to met Miles College after a hard fought 8-7 victory over CAU. The game was won on a homer in the top of the ninth off the bat of the right fielder Rilan Familia. It was his second blast of the day.
CAU had led the game most of the day on the strength of a two homer day from Raphael Andredus.
According to Albany head coach, Scott Hemmils, both teams will start their number one pitcher in the matchup between the two top HBCU small college baseball programs in the country.
Harold Michael Harvey, a former outfielder at Tuskegee University in the 1970s, is an attorney, author, publisher, board member of the Atlanta Metro RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program and contributing reporter for Black College Nines