Alabama A&M Baseball Defeats Fort Wayne, 8-7, In Season Opener

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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 BetancourtJT 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.

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