Alcorn Visit Southern And Host Tougaloo In Back-To-Back Days

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Alcorn State Sports Information

NCAA DI/SWAC/NAIA/GCAC/A.I.I./Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

LORMAN, Miss. – The Alcorn State University baseball program will travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to face the SWAC West leaders, the Southern Jaguars, before turning around to host Tougaloo College on Wednesday afternoon.

As a team, Alcorn (10-23, 4-13 SWAC) is among the top-40 in the NCAA for triples per game and triples as the purple and gold have smacked 0.36 per game and 12 total in 33 games so far.

The Braves are also an elite squad in the SWAC when it comes to batting average (.265), home runs (19), homers per game (0.58) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.8).

Senior Carlos Lopez enters the two games tied for Alcorn’s all-time career strikeout record with 219. He shares the mark with Steve Easter who pitched for the Braves from 2010-2012. Lopez has 47 punchouts in 2019, good for fourth in the SWAC.

Freshman Tristin Garcia has provided a huge boost to the top of the Braves lineup, as he is the club leader with a .371 average, 39 hits, 57 total bases and three triples while among the top-three in runs scored (23), doubles (6), slugging (.543) and on-base percentage (.431). He also paces the squad with 14 multiple-hit performances and is among the NCAA’s top-20 in toughest to strike out at 13.1.

Senior Brandon Barna became the 48th player in school history to reach the 100-hit milestone on March 30 with a two-RBI single in the top of the sixth versus Jackson State. Barna presently stands at 108 career base knocks which places him in 41st, two behind Sylvester Webb for 40th.

Barna is tops among Braves hitters in doubles (7), triples (3), and RBIs (22) while being in the top-third for hits (34). He also has the most multi-RBI games on the squad with five.

Junior Brandon Rembert has been scorching opposing pitcher at the plate for the past month, going 32-for-79 over the club’s last 21 games which equates to a .405 batting average with 22 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, three home runs and 18 RBIs over that timeframe. Rembert is currently eighth in the conference with an overall batting average of .371.

Junior closer Austin Atwood has put the finishing touches on a majority team’s 10 victories, as he’s second in the SWAC with five saves while also picking up two wins, second-best on the club.

Other notable Braves on the SWAC leaderboards include senior Kirt Cormier with 22 walks (8th), senior Jose Fernandez who has 42 strikeouts (7th) and junior Jordan McGowan with a 9.2 toughest to strike out rating (9th).

Scouting the Southern Jaguars 

Southern (20-15, 11-2 SWAC) was projected to finish last in the SWAC West Division but has easily been the biggest surprise in the conference this year, holding a 2.5 game lead over Grambling for the top spot.

The Jaguars have been excellent in protecting its home turf, going 11-5 at Lee-Hines Field in 2019 with its signature victory coming last Tuesday when they knocked off #8 LSU by a score of 7-2.

The light blue and gold have made for an incredible Cinderella story as the team resides inside the top-25 nationally in numerous offensive categories including batting average (.306), hits (381), on-base percentage (.404), runs scored per game (7.8), stolen bases per game (2.67) and triples (15).

Individually, Tyler LaPorte is staking his claim for SWAC Player of the Year honors as the Lafayette, Louisiana native is third in the country in hits (63), seventh in hits per game (1.75), and 17th in RBIs (44) while placing among the top-50 in regard to batting average (.387), runs scored (38), RBIs per game (1.22), stolen bases (18) and total bases (89).

On the pitching side of things, senior Connor Whalen has been a lockdown closer at the back end of the Jaguars bullpen, notching a conference-high eight saves and coming in at the 13th-best mark in the NCAA.

Alcorn and Southern met once earlier this season during the MLB Urban Invitational in New Orleans to begin the 2019 campaign, with the Jaguars outlasting the Braves 12-9 on February 17.

Scouting the Tougaloo Bulldogs 

Tougaloo (5-23, 5-3 GCAC) is an NAIA institution and come into the ballgame losers of nine straight and 12 of its last 13.

The Bulldogs are 3-17 on the road in 2019 and are 0-5 against Division 1 opponents so far, being doubled up by a combined margin of 30-15 versus Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn.

The red and blue excel at stealing bases as they are ranked among the top-40 in the NAIA with 1.83 steals per contest.

D’Anthony Morrow is the Bulldogs’ most consistent offensive threat, pacing the squad with a .311 average and nine steals while Zarius Holliman is the top run-producer with ten RBIs.

On the hill, Bradford Patton represents Tougaloo College’s best option as his 5.04 ERA is the lowest among qualifying pitchers.

Alcorn and Tougaloo met 13 days ago in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi with the Braves taking a late lead and holding on for a 6-4 come from behind victory.

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