Alabama State Baseball Set To Open 2019 Season This Weekend In New Orleans

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NCAA DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alabama State Sports Information

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama State opens the 2019 season in New Orleans this weekend at the Andre Dawson MLB Classic against three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) West Division foes, beginning Friday against UAPB.

First pitch is schedule for 12 pm at Maestri Field on the campus of the University New Orleans against UAPB Friday, while the Hornets return to action at 7 pm in the same facility Saturday against Prairie View A&M. They return to action Sunday, concluding the weekend against Grambling State at Wesley Barrow Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 5 pm.

Probable Starting Pitchers for Alabama State

  • Friday – Darrius Wright (8-1, 2.36 ERA) – First Team Preseason All-SWAC
  • Saturday – Darren Kelly (2-0, 1.96 ERA) – returning from Tommy John surgery
  • Sunday – TBA

Probable Starting Pitchers for the Opponents

  • Friday – (UAPB) TBA
  • Saturday – (PVAMU) Derrick Curry (1-6, 8.67 ERA)
  • Sunday – (GSU) Jason Alvarez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Inside the Alabama State Hornets

  • Alabama State, fresh off a divisional championship last season, was chosen to repeat as the East Division champion in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) on a vote by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, announced by the conference office. The Hornets earned 73 points (including nine first place votes) to finish four points ahead of Jackson State in second place with six first place votes. Alcorn State earned 40 points for third in the division, while Texas Southern – the two-time defending champion – was chosen to win the West Division with 72 points (including nine first place votes).
  • Alabama State tied for league honors with five selections on the two preseason teams with Jackson State and Grambling State, while UAPB had four selections. Texas Southern picked up three each, while Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State each had one selection. Darrius Wright, an All-Conference selection last season, was one of two First Team selections this season for Alabama State. The senior right-handed pitcher finished 8-1 last season with a 2.36 earned run average – a category in which he led the nation for three weeks at the beginning of the season. He finished with 12 starts as the Friday starter for Alabama State, logging 72.1 innings and giving up just 38 runs – 19 earned. Wright won his first four starts of his career, and logged six-plus innings nine different times in 2018. He did not allow an earned run in five of starts, and finished ranked nationally in victories and earned run average.
  • Meanwhile, Eriq White – who missed all of last season – was named First Team as a third baseman entering the 2019 season. As a sophomore, White was a First Team Preseason honoree and hit .282 that season in 46 games. He recorded 40 hits in 142 official at-bats and scored 24 runs, while knocking in another 15. White recorded five doubles and hit one home run as a sophomore, a year after being named the 2016 SWAC Freshman of the Year and selected as a First Team All-Conference member.
  • Darren Kelly led the nation in strikeouts with 41 through three starts last season before he felt a pop in his throwing shoulder against Alabama A&M. Prior to his arm injury, he recorded a school record 16 strikeouts against Southern (2/23), and then followed that up with another 14 against Alcorn State (3/2). He also had four in three innings against Alabama A&M (3/9) before leaving with the arm injury. Before the injury Kelly went 2-0, 1.96 with 41 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.

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