Alcorn State Sports Information
LORMAN, Miss. – Senior ace Carlos Lopez was voted onto the Preseason All-Conference Second-Team, and the Alcorn State University baseball program was predicted to finish third in the SWAC East Division, the league office announced Friday.
Lopez enters the season ranked fifth all-time in school history in career strikeouts with 172. He needs 48 more to break Steve Easter’s mark of 219 set in 2012.
Last season, the Barranquitas, Puerto Rico native broke the single-season record for strikeouts with 91. It snapped a 51-year old record of 79 strikeouts by Tommie Dukes in 1967.
Lopez has been a workhorse for the Braves in his career. Last year, the right-hander threw a team-high 79.0 innings with a 4-3 record and 4.90 ERA. He struck out 91 batters, while walking just 28. His sophomore year, he fired 54.0 innings with a 4-4 record and a 3.33 ERA.
The Braves were picked third with one first-place vote. Alabama State was atop the East Division with 73 points and nine first-place votes, while Jackson State was second with 69 points and six first-place votes.
Alcorn returns four of its eight starting field players from last year. Junior outfielder Jordan McGowan hit for a .299 average, while junior catcher Kyle Jenkins posted a .258 average with four homers and 22 RBI’s. Other returning starters include senior infielders Brandon Barna and Hunter Wilson.
The Braves also bring back a big bat in redshirt-senior Kirt Cormier who missed nearly all of last season due to injury. Cormier began 2018 on fire with a .545 average and two homers through three games before getting hurt and missing the rest of the way.
Alcorn opens the 2019 campaign on Friday, Feb. 15 when it takes on Prairie View A&M at the MLB Urban Invitational in New Orleans. The Braves will also play Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Southern that weekend in a trio of non-conference games.
Preseason First-Team All-SWAC Baseball
C – Drexler Macaay, Grambling State
1B – Christian Sanchez, Texas Southern
2B – Wesley Reyes, Jackson State
3B – Eriq White, Alabama State
SS- Jarficur Parker, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DH- Richard Ortiz, Grambling State
OF – Isaiah Torres, Grambling State
OF – Sergio Esparza, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OF – Desmond Chumley, Jackson State
SP – Aron Solis, Texas Southern
SP – Darrius Wright, Alabama State
RP – Chris Suarez, Jackson State
Preseason Second-Team All-SWAC Baseball
C – Ricardo Sanchez, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
1B – Rafael Ramirez, Grambling State
2B – Ryan Mallison, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
3B – Wendell Rieves, Mississippi Valley State
SS – Cristopher DeGuzman, Alabama State
DH – Raul Hernandez, Jackson State
OF – Olajide Oloruntimilehin, Texas Southern
OF – Noel Chenau, Alabama State
OF – Ace Felder, Grambling State
SP – Kevin Perez, Jackson State
SP – Carlos Lopez, Alcorn
RP – Terrell McCall, Alabama State
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Aron Solis, Texas Southern
Preseason Player of the Year
Christian Sanchez, Texas Southern
Eastern Division Predicted Order of Finish (1st place votes)
Alabama State, 73 points (9)
Jackson State, 69 points (6)
Alcorn, 40 points (1)
Alabama A&M, 33 points (0)
Mississippi Valley State, 25 points (0)
Western Division Predicted Order of Finish (1st place votes)
Texas Southern, 72 points (9)
Grambling State, 67 points (6)
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 42 points (1)
Prairie View A&M, 34 points (0)
Southern, 25 points (0)