Alcorn State Abdallah Salman Stifles Tougaloo, Lopez Becomes Strikeout King In Blowout Win

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Alcorn State Sports Information

NCAA DI/SWAC/GCAC/A.I.I./Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

LORMAN, Miss. – The Alcorn State University baseball program got a brilliant starting performance from junior Abdallah Salman and senior Carlos Lopez became the school’s all-time strikeout leader in a 12-4 romp over the Bulldogs.

Carlos Lopez came on in the top of the ninth and rewrote the Alcorn record books as he fanned the first batter he faced to pass Steve Easter for the most career strikeouts in program history with 220. Lopez would add one more three batters later as he added padded his total up to 221 and counting over his four seasons.

Abdallah Salman (2-1) opened the game on the mound for the purple and gold for his first career start. Salman got weak contact from Bulldog hitters all night to the tune of two runs, only four hits and striking out two over 6.0 excellent innings of work.

Junior Austin Atwood provided two spotless innings out of the pen to go along with fanning two batters.

Senior Brandon Barna led the offensive charge for the Braves, bringing home three runs on a two-RBI single and a bases loaded walk while getting on-base three times over the course of the contest.

Juniors Kyle Jenkins and Jordan McGowan joined Barna in having multiple-RBI affairs, with both players driving in two and scoring one run on the bases.

Senior Kirt Cormier reached safely four times on the evening and came around to score on all four occasions to tie a career-best.

Alcorn’s offense played small-ball to rack up its 12 runs as ten of the 11 base hits recorded were singles, McGowan and freshman Tristin Garcia stole one bag apiece and the Braves set a new program record with 14 walks. McGowan and junior Brandon Rembert led the way with three free passes while Cormier and freshman Jaden Smith each tallied two.

After a quiet first inning on both ends, Alcorn’s bats caught fire in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Andrew Meadowsstarted the scoring with an RBI single through the left side directly followed by Garcia notching an RBI single as well. Rembert doubled down the line to score one, Jenkins worked an RBI walk and Barna smacked a two-RBI single to left to stake the Braves a 6-0 advantage in the second.

Each team went scoreless in the third before the purple and gold brought two home in the fourth courtesy of a Jenkins single and a double play with no outs and a man on third, 8-0 Braves.

First time starting pitcher Abdallah Salman was baffling Tougaloo College over the first five innings as he held boys from Jackson to just one hit over that span.

The red and blue finally found some life in the top half of the sixth, plating two runs to trim the Braves lead to 8-2. Alcorn’s lead ballooned back up to eight in the bottom half as McGowan coaxed a bases loaded walk in a gritty nine-pitch at-bat and sophomore Jamey Fabre lifted a sacrifice fly to extend the margin to 10-2 Alcorn.

Alcorn capped the scoring with yet another bases loaded walk by Barna and an RBI infield single by McGowan in the seventh to push the lead to double-digits at 12-2.

Carlos Lopez came on in relief of Austin Atwood to begin the final frame, needing only one more strikeout to claim his spot atop the strikeout leaderboard. Lopez delivered immediately, overpowering the first batter he faced to sit all alone in first place with punchout number 220.

Despite giving up two unearned runs, the senior from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico picked up strikeout 221 three batters later and closed out the ballgame to guide the Braves to a bounce-back 12-4 blowout win in front of the home crowd.

Alcorn baseball gets almost a full week off before hosting cross-divisional foe Grambling State on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.

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