Alcorn State Opens SWAC Play With Weekend Series At Alabama A&M

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NCAA DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alcorn State University baseball program begins SWAC play on Friday through Sunday as it takes on the Alabama A&M Bulldogs in a three-game series with all games set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.

The purple and gold have been stellar so far in producing on the offensive end, placing in the top-three of the SWAC in runs per game (6.1) and total runs (55) while placing in the top half of the league in hits (92) and home runs (6). Alcorn has also done well in the fielding percentage and strikeouts per nine innings categories as it sits at third in the league with .958 and 7.4, respectively.

Senior starting pitcher Carlos Lopez enters the series ranked fifth all-time in school history in career strikeouts with 189. He needs 31 more to break Steve Easter’s mark of 219 set in 2012. Lopez has 17 strikeouts over 12.2 innings pitched, which has him at 32nd in the NCAA through two weeks. His 3.55 ERA is tops among Braves starters.

Senior Brandon Barna leads the Braves in batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.543), hits (12), RBIs (9) and total bases (19) while hitting the team’s only triple and being one of six players to homer on the season. Barna is 14 hits away from 100 in his career. He’d become the 48th player in school history to reach that milestone.

Junior outfielder Travaris Cole is right on Barna’s heels in terms of offensive production, as the outfielder is second on the club in average (.333), hits (11), RBIs (8) and total bases (16).

Senior Brendly Martina saw his eight-game hitting streak snapped in a loss at McNeese on Tuesday but reached base safely for the 18th consecutive game dating back to 2018 when he reached on an error.

Junior outfielder Jordan McGowan has reached base 12 times through nine games, and he has managed to come around to score on 11 of those opportunities. That is good for a 92% scoring rate when he gets on-base. McGowan resides inside the top-35 nationally in runs scored on the campaign.

Finding a way on base and putting the ball in play have been a strength of senior catcher Kirt Cormier. Cormier is fourth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference for drawing walks (7) and has been the toughest player to strikeout in the NCAA in 2019, putting the ball in play or taking a walk on all 29 of his at-bats.

Alabama A&M (0-9) was picked to finish fourth in the SWAC’s Eastern Division.

The Bulldogs have yet to put a notch in the win column through nine games, falling to Purdue Fort Wayne (x3), Auburn (x2), Mercer (x3) and Missouri.

Justin Lott leads Alabama A&M in batting average (.316) and hits (6). Yavier Febus sports AAMU’s best ERA, heading into the series with a 4.50 in four innings pitched.

Alcorn and Alabama A&M split the season series in 2018, with the road team taking two out of three in the six matchups.

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