Alabama State Hornets Finish Off Sweep of Alcorn State With No-Hitter




Alabama State Sports Information


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama State freshman Gage Dollar threw his first career no-hitter at any level, helping the Hornets finish off a sweep of Alcorn State with a 12-0 run-rule victory in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play Sunday afternoon.

“We made the change moving (Dalton) Wilder to the bullpen which he was really good on Friday,” Alabama State head coach Jose’ Vazquez said. “We just wanted Gage (Dollar) to give us a chance, and he did way more than that. We were able to score some runs for him; he was really good getting ahead in the strike zone. The changeup kept them off balance, and I extremely proud. Once again, the young class that we have is a talented group and worked very hard to get in this situation. Just an outstanding performance.”

Dollar (1-1) finished the day, his second collegiate start, with a seven-inning complete game effort. He allowed just two walks and hit another batter, with only four Alcorn State hitters reaching base.

“I didn’t realize it until the sixth,” Dollar said of his no-hit bid. “I just came out today with average stuff, not much was working for me pitch-wise. I just went out there to attack the zone and compete, to keep my team in the ball game and give us a chance to win.

“I just tired to go out there and keep throwing strikes,” Dollar said. “I just had to keep giving us a chance to win. I didn’t really think about, I just wanted to close the inning and get us back in the dugout. I was excited and nervous today, but happy the coaching staff the opportunity as a freshman to come out and compete in conference play.”

Alabama State (8-4, 3-0 SWAC) started the scoring early in support of Dollar with a pair of runs in the first inning after Hunter Allen drew a bases-loaded walk for the first of two RBIs on the day for the senior catcher, giving Alabama State a 1-0 lead. The lead grew to 2-0 when Ray Hernandez drove in Joseph Estrada for the first of his two RBIs on the day with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Hornets added three more in the third when Hernandez singled through the left side to drive in Estrada for the 3-0 lead. The lead grew to 5-0 when the very next batter, Yamil Pagan hit the first of two doubles down the left field line to score Hernandez and Gustavo Rios.

The score stayed that way until the sixth when Alabama State erupted for six runs in the inning highlighted by a solo home run from Rios to left – his first of the season – and another double from Pagan. The Hornets added another run in the sixth before Dollar closed the door in the seventh and finished off the no-hitter.

“The approach was to stay patient at the plate today,” Vazquez said. “We, as a coaching staff, wanted to see if we could get to the bullpen and we were able to do that. We started off with good at-bats from the young guys again, and we had a balanced lineup. Those guys who had been struggling a little bit, their at-bats are getting better. It’s about confidence. Yamil (Pagan) had some big hits and Gus (Rio) had his first homerun and got it out the way, which is a big thing to get out of the way. I told them they worked way too hard for us to struggle, but that is baseball. We just have to find ways to keep us in the game with pitching and defense.”

Noel Cheneau and Yamil Pagan finished with a pair of hits each, while Pagan finished with three runs batted in and Cheneau a pair. Allen, Hernandez and Cristopher DeGuzman each finished with a pair of RBI on the day.

Alabama State returns to action in a mid-week game at South Alabama on Tuesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6 pm.

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