Alcorn State Jose Fernandez’s Career Outing, Travaris Cole’s Homer Guide Braves Past Panthers

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Alcorn State Sports Information

 

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Redshirt senior Jose Fernandez twirled a pitching masterpiece and senior Travaris Cole blasted a three-run bomb to lift the Baseball Braves to an 11-5 Opening Day triumph.

The Braves (1-0) accumulated ten hits and eight walks while six separate Braves recorded at least one RBI.

Fernandez earned the victory (1-0), tossing a career-best nine strikeouts over 6.0 innings of strong work while allowing only two runs on seven hits.

Cole went 2-of-4 with the go-ahead three-run jack in the fifth as well as scoring two runs.

Redshirt seniors Jordan McGowan and Micah Walker both registered two hits and two RBI each while junior Brandon Rembert, sophomore Tyler Daniels and freshman Jaden Smith produced one RBI a piece.

Redshirt sophomore George Osborne III came up big with his first career save, finishing the game with 1.1 innings of one-hit ball.

Prairie View A&M (0-2) saw six of its 11 hits go for extra bases but the two innings of four and five runs given up were too much for the Panthers to overcome.

Rembert recorded the season’s first base hit of the year, chopping a slow-rolling dribbler to second before beating out the throw with two outs in the first. That was all the Braves could muster in the opening half-inning while Fernandez opened the campaign with a 1-2-3 inning.

Redshirt senior Hunter Wilson made the most of his first plate appearance, walloping a double to the left field wall in his first action after missing all of last season due to injury. The next three batters could not drive him in as the score remained 0-0. Fernandez then one-upped himself, striking out the side in the second.

The bottom of the third saw PVAMU get on the board in both the hit and run column, logging two hits including an RBI double by Brayden Johnson gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Wilson built upon his fast start, smacking a rope to right for a single with one down in the fourth before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, McGowan tallied the squad’s first run, lacing a two-out RBI double to tie things up at one. Prairie View answered back in the bottom half using three consecutive hits to go back in front 2-1. The proceeding mound visit that followed seemed to work as Fernandez would blow away the next two batters, stranding two runners on base and upping his strikeout total to seven.

Sophomore Jaden Smith led off the fifth with a four-pitch walk. A fielder’s choice by Rembert knotted the score at 2, setting up the big blow. Cole stepped to the dish with two on and unloaded a three-run jack over the wall in right-center to give the Braves its first lead, 5-2.

The sixth inning saw the boys from Lorman threaten again with runners on the corner with two outs but failed to capitalize as the game stayed put at 5-2, Alcorn.

Alcorn would add an insurance run in the seventh as Rembert coming across to score on a passed ball to make it 6-2 in favor of the Braves. Senior Tyler Smith came on in relief of Fernandez to sit down the side with relative ease, using only eight pitches to get three outs.

The Braves were set down in order to open their half of the eighth and while the Panthers were able to push across three runs to close the gap but Coach Richardson’s crew still went into the ninth nursing a 6-5 advantage.

Alcorn would put the game on ice in the ninth as McGowan, freshman Jaden Smith and sophomore Tyler Daniels each collected an RBI while Walker plated two to extend the lead to 11-5. Osborne III, who came in to cap off the eighth, sealed the win with a scoreless ninth to give the boys from Lorman a 11-5 win.

The Baseball Braves will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they face the Southern Jaguars in a nationally televised game on MLB Network and mlb.com.

NOTES

– Alcorn improved to 10-13 all-time against Prairie View A&M.

– The Braves went 4-for-16 (.25) with runners in scoring position.

Quoting Alcorn head coach Bretton Richardson

On Travaris Cole not playing at 100% after injury last season:
“Honestly we kind of rushed him back, we actually thought at one point to let him redshirt the rest of the year because that was an option but we talked to him about it and he wanted to come out to help his teammates out, that’s just the type of young man that he is. He didn’t want to sit out while his brothers were going to battle, tough kid, great teammate and he’s going to give it everything he’s got when on the field.”

On if the team would have more patience at the plate if they had more practice time:
“For sure, I definitely think we would’ve played a cleaner game. We went over a lot of the mistakes we made during the course of the game and once we get five, ten, 15 games into this thing, those are the types of mistakes we won’t be making. We’re making them right now because we didn’t get an opportunity to get out there and practice but we’re not going to make any excuses, we’re trying to teach and coach these guys through those mistakes and the heartaches. Our goal is to definitely be playing our best baseball at the end of the season, today was a good day for us and it gives us something to build off of for tomorrow.”

On Jose Fernandez’s Stellar Performance:
“I thought Jose came out and pitched his behind off, especially for his first start of the season. Because of the weather we hadn’t had any opportunities to scrimmage each other so I didn’t really know how he was going to come out and pitch but he gave us six solid innings, he kept us in that thing and he gave up a couple of runs early on but hung in there. Got out of a tough bases loaded situation, I think in the second or third inning, but he went out there and fought, gave us an opportunity to win and fortunate enough for him he was able to grab the win for doing that. That’s the kind of efforts we’re going to need from that young man and we’re fortunate that he was on our side today.”

Senior outfielder Travaris Cole

On bouncing back from last season’s injury:
“It was really difficult because I had to go back through the motions, like go back to see the baseball again but it was tough on me so I tried swinging away.”

On holding off Prairie View A&M at the end:
“Our lineup is pretty tough, we got power all throughout the lineup and then whoever we got on the bench we stick them in and play. It’s a big team this year.”

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