Alcorn State Braves Settle For Series Split, Drop Finale To Rattlers, 8-7




Alcorn State Sports Information


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Alcorn State University baseball program fought from down two in the seventh to tie things up but were unable to finish the job as FAMU scored in the eighth to earn a one-run victory, 8-7.

Junior Kyle Jenkins and senior Brandon Barna were the catalysts for the Alcorn bats, picking up five of the team’s ten hits on the day and combining to hit an average of .625 with four RBIs. Senior Brendly Martina extended his hit streak to eight games as well as 17 consecutive games reaching base safely.

Jenkins picked up three RBIs on a pair of singles with juniors Jordan McGowan and Trey Covert along with freshman Tristin Garcia getting the other three RBIs on the afternoon.

FAMU starter Josh Barr looked as if he was going to sail through the first inning until senior Kirt Comier reached base on a miscue by the shortstop. After junior Travaris Cole singled to place Cormier in scoring position, Barna would deliver a hard-hit single to drive in the first run of the game, 1-0 Braves. The Rattlers came to the plate in the bottom half ready to strike, loading the bases three batters in and capitalizing with a three-run opening frame, 3-1 Rattlers.

Back came the Braves in the second as Martina smacked a single, stole second and then advanced to third on an overthrow by the catcher to have a man on third with one down. Back-to-back-to-back RBI hits from Covert, McGowan and Garcia propelled Alcorn back on top by a score of 4-3 Braves. The lead would not last long as Sey Lawrence doubled and scored in the Rattlers portion of the inning to knot the score at four.

In the bottom of the fourth, Sey Lawrence would score again following a lead-off walk to see the home team go ahead 5-4. Alcorn would tie the game for the second time with Kyle Jenkins driving in Brandon Barna on a laser beam single to even the proceedings at five in the fifth.

Florida A&M would tack on a run in each of the following two innings to build a 7-5 advantage going into the seventh. The road warrior Braves responded by evening the playing field yet again as Jenkins drove in his second and third RBIs of the day with two outs in the seventh to square things away at seven all. The bottom of the seventh saw the Rattlers have the bases juiced with only one out as junior Joe Smith was called upon to escape unscathed. Smith delivered under pressure forcing a fielder’s choice play at the plate for out number two before getting the batter to roll over a weak grounder to the first baseman to eliminate the threat.

Unfortunately for the purple and gold, the final six batters would be retired in order and Florida A&M would scratch across a run in the bottom of the eighth to secure a series split, dropping Alcorn to 3-5 on the season with an 8-7 defeat.

Joe Smith (0-2) was saddled with the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) and two hits over the final 1.2 innings of work. Senior starter Tyler Smith threw four innings, allowing four earned runs, seven hits while recording a strikeout.

Alcorn baseball will be back in action on Tuesday night as it travels to Lake Charles, Louisiana to go toe-to-toe with the McNeese Cowboys at 6 p.m. from Joe Miller Ballpark.

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