Alcorn State Baseball Open 2020 Season With Andre Dawson Tournament

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NCAADI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Alcorn State University baseball program begins its 2020 season at Wesley Barrow Stadium as it prepares to face Prairie View A&M, Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a trio of inter-division matchups.

Alcorn will begin the season at the Andre Dawson Tournament against SWAC Western Division opponents for the fifth consecutive year. Last season, the Braves went 1-2 in the event, beating Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-9) while falling to Prairie View A&M (10-3) and Southern (12-9).

Alcorn is 9-13 all-time against Prairie View A&M, splitting four regular season matchups before the Panthers eliminated the Braves in the SWAC Tournament.The Braves are 28-68-2 in 98 meeting with the Southern Jaguars. SU won both games against Alcorn last season and have won three-in-a-row in the series.

The boys from Lorman have compiled a 37-20 record in the series history versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff, winning its only contest with the Golden Lions a year ago and riding a three-game winning streak into the weekend.

The Baseball Braves were picked to finish fourth in the SWAC East after placing fourth in the division with a 7-16 conference record.

“We’re really excited about the season opener, the weather hasn’t been the best for us but you know we’re going to go out there and give it our best,” said head coach Bretton Richardson. “We’re excited, the kids are excited and baseball is in the air, we’re just ready to get cracking.”

Senior outfielder Brandon Rembert was named to the Preseason All-SWAC First Team. Last season, the Pensacola, Florida native placed fifth in the conference with a .345 batting average and eighth in on-base percentage (462) to lead the Braves in both categories. The 2019 Alcorn Sportsmanship Award winner ranked among the squad’s top-three players in a majority of categories last year including hits (48), runs scored (38), walks (29), doubles (9) and homers (3) while accumulating 14 multi-hit games.

Sophomore infielder Tristin Garcia made the Preseason All-SWAC Second Team as a second basemen. In 2019, the Louisville, Kentucky native topped the purple and gold with 54 hits, 20 multi-hit contests and three triples. Among Braves hitters, he was top-three for most major categories including batting average (.344), runs scored (31), doubles (9), total bases (75), slugging percentage (.478) and steals (5). He also held the club’s longest on-base streak (15) and hitting streak (10) of 2019.

The purple and gold will return the majority of its starting lineup from a season ago as seven of the eight starters in the field return including Rembert, Garcia, redshirt senior Jordan McGowan, sophomore Jaden Smith, senior Travaris Cole and junior Jamey Fabre.

Jenkins comes into the campaign seventh on the program’s all-time home runs list (13) after clubbing nine last year, the eighth-most in a single season. The catcher is 18 hits shy of becoming the 49th member of the program’s 100-hit club. He led the team in multi-RBI games (9), slugging percentage (.506), RBI (37) and total bases (80).

Alcorn will return its top starting pitcher from 2019 as redshirt senior Jose Fernandez is back in the fold. The southpaw from San Juan, Puerto Rico led the rotation with a 7.34 ERA, 65.0 innings pitched and three wins over 11 starts while placing second on the club with 52 strikeouts.

Returning out of the bullpen are Tyler Smith, Joe Smith, Devon Key and Jake Kieffer. The two Smiths combined for 34 strikeouts over 49.1 innings, Key averaged a strikeout per inning and Kieffer will move into the rotation after making a team-high 16 appearances along with two starts after posting 29 strikeouts over 30.1 innings.

The Baseball Braves will welcome four transfers to The Reservation; Christopher Pittman (Coahoma CC), Tyler Daniels (Winston-Salem State), Jarius Colley (Lurleen B. Wallace CC) and Lane Gordon (Southwest Mississippi CC).

Alcorn head coach Bretton Richardson enters his fifth season at the helm. He added Alcorn alum Ryan Fuentes to his staff as an assistant coach in 2019. Former infielder Kirt Cormier has joined the staff as a student assistant for the 2020 campaign after leading the team in runs scored (42), doubles (10) and walks (30) while placing among the top-three Braves hitters with a .302 average, 49 hits, 28 RBI, a .433 on-base percentage and 72 total bases last year.

The games against Prairie View A&M (Friday) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff can be heard on 91.7 FM with Charles Edmond on the call while Saturday’s game versus Southern will be broadcast on MLB Network and mlb.com.

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