Alabama State Opened Title Defense With Win Over Alabama A&M





Alabama State Sports Information


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama State University baseball team, the defending Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champions, opened its title defense on Friday night as the Hornets cruised to a 14-2 victory in seven innings over Alabama A&M at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

The game was called after the seventh due to the NCAA 10-run mercy rule.

“It was a much-needed outing tonight by Tyler Howe,” Alabama State head coach Jose` Vazquez said. “I know we needed it and he needed it for his confidence. All he did was just got out there and compete. I’m glad he got that first win out of the way. He kept us in the game and kept it close until we were able to score some runs. He’s worked extremely hard and I will take this win tonight and now it is time to concentrate on tomorrow’s game.”

Howe (1-2) picked up his first win of the season as he gave up two runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings. He fanned five and walked four. Ivanniel Vazquez worked a third of inning in relief.

The Hornets (4-7 overall, 1-0 SWAC), who collected 15 hits for the second consecutive game, scored one run in the third and fourth innings, before exploding for six runs on six hits and took advantage of two Bulldog errors to grab an 8-0.

Carlos Ocasio, who went 2-for-3, began the frame with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Ray Hernandez, who went 2-for-5, followed with a base hit to left center to plate Ocasio. Chris Biocic, who went 3-for-5, reached on an infield hit as Hernandez advanced to second. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball and Hunter Philips singled down the line in right to score Hernandez. With two down, White walked and Edgardo Rivera, who went 2-for-4 with five RBIs, plated Biocic and Phillips with single through the right side.

After a pitching change, Diandre Amion reached on a base hit through the right side to score Rivera and White, giving Alabama State an 8-0 lead.

Alabama A&M (3-8, 0-1) got a run back in the top of the sixth, but Alabama State put the game away with a six runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame.

Hernandez led off the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to second on an infield hit by Biocic. Phillips and Allen drew back-to-back walks to plate Hernandez. After a pitching change, Gustavo Rios, who went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, doubled down the left field line to score Biocic and Phillips. White followed with a walk and Allen scored on a passed ball. Rivera plated Rios with a single to center. With two down in the frame, White scored when Hernandez bounced into a fielder’s choice to give the Hornets a 14-1 lead.

The Bulldogs plated a run in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.

Caleb Gay (0-1) took the loss as he worked 4.2 innings and surrendered eight runs (five earned) with two strikeouts. Tyus ‘O” Neal-El and Owen Stubberfield pitched in relief

Alabama State resumes its three-game series on Saturday against Alabama A&M in a SWAC game at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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