Brandon Barna Reaches 100-Hit Milestone, Alcorn State Braves Clobber Jackson State, 18-4

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NCAA DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

JACKSON, Miss. – The Alcorn State University baseball program ended a seven-game skid in style as the Braves logged its highest run total in four years with an 18-4 beatdown of Jackson State in seven. The 18 runs are the most the purple and gold have scored since an 18-7 victory over Mississippi Valley State on May 2, 2015.

Senior Brandon Barna logged his 100th career hit with a two-RBI single in the top of the sixth to enter the history books as the 48th player in program history to accomplish the feat. Barna accumulated season-bests in runs scored (3) and RBIs (3) in a 2-for-5 effort.

Junior Brandon Rembert was nearly unstoppable at the plate, driving in Braves runners on each of his three hits on the afternoon en route to a career-high five RBI day. Rembert also came around to score three runs and went 3-for-4 at the dish.

Junior catcher Kyle Jenkins went yard for the second time in as many games, crushing a three-run no-doubt moonshot in the fourth to break the game open. Jenkins showed patience as well, drawing two walks.

Freshman Jaden Smith and junior Jordan McGowan both picked up their second multiple-RBI outings of the season as each contributed two RBIs apiece.

Alcorn sprung to action immediately in game two, as the Braves loaded the bases before Rembert poked a two-RBI single to right to gain some positive reinforcement with a 2-0 upper-hand from the get-go. JSU clawed right back into the lead in the bottom half, thanks to three stolen bases and three runs scored to take back the lead at 3-2 after one.

The homestanding Tigers would add another run to its total in the bottom of the third to expand its margin to 4-2. The Braves made sure that runs would not be at a premium in the top of the fourth as a two-RBI double by Garcia plus RBI singles from Barna and Rembert gave Alcorn the lead right back at 5-4. Jenkins would then step up to the plate and decide that a one-run lead would not suffice, as he uncorked a three-run tater to push the gap to four at 8-4 Braves.

The purple and gold clad visitors continued to add an insurance policy, as McGowan hit a sacrifice fly and Garcia singled in a run in the fifth to extend the Braves lead to 10-4. The Alcorn Braves drove the metaphorical nail into the Tigers’ coffin during the sixth as 14 Braves batters came to the plate, eight of them scoring, to demoralize their rivals and go ahead 18-4.

Senior starting pitcher Jose Fernandez gave up four hits between the fourth and sixth innings but otherwise shutdown the potent Tigers offense before handing the ball to junior Abdallah Salman to close out the game. Alcorn was able to taste victory for the first time in exactly two weeks and will look for a bragging rights garnering series win in the rubber match on Sunday.

Jose Fernandez (2-2) picked up the victory, giving up four runs and 11 hits to go along with one strikeout over 6.0 innings. Abdallah Salman pitched a spotless final frame coming in for the seventh to record a strikeout while giving up only one hit in the process.

Alcorn baseball eyes a series victory tomorrow afternoon as the two sides battle it out in the rubber match at 1 p.m. from Braddy Field.

Quoting Alcorn head coach Bretton Richardson

Opening Statement

“This is the potential that this ballclub has, we may not come out and score 18 runs every game but we definitely have the capability to score 8, 9, 10 runs per game. The guys came out today with their hitting shoes on and got themselves in some pretty good hitter’s counts. We were able to put some good swings on the baseball and we were able to score a bunch of runs today.”

On Kyle Jenkins’ Second Home Run in as Many Games

“Kyle has kind of been struggling a bit, he had a good game against Grambling. He’s been working with Cedrick Bell [Volunteer Assistant Coach], Ced works with our hitters a little bit, he’s [Jenkins] been putting that extra time in and he’s starting to see the fruits of his labor a little bit. He’s a guy that’s got a bunch of potential as you can see he can hit the long ball but he’s also able to hit the ball in the gaps. I’m proud of him for the work he’s putting in and that he’s showing forms in the game, hopefully he’ll continue to do that as the season goes on.”

On Snapping the Losing Streak

“It does feel good to get a win, the guys have been working hard and we have had some tough breaks. The game against Grambling on Tuesday we believe we should’ve won, it feels good to finally get the opportunity to close out a ballgame which we did today. I’m happy foe the guys but the thing about baseball is that we are only going to be as good as tomorrow. We have another opportunity and hopefully we come out and play well again tomorrow to have an opportunity to win this series.”

On Jackson State Coming Out with a Chip on its Shoulder Tomorrow After Today’s Big Loss

“If we don’t come out there tomorrow and match their intensity, we could be on the other end of an 18-4 score tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a pivotal game for us, not because of who we are playing but because it’s the next game on the schedule. We want to come out tomorrow, same focus, same energy, same effort, and hopefully we’ll come out on top like we did today.”

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