Bukhari Brown Dominates, Alcorn State Splits Doubleheader With Alabama A&M

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NCAA DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

HUNTSVILLE Ala. – The Alcorn State University baseball program dropped game one of the newly-formed doubleheader 7-5, before taking game two 4-1 behind a dominant pitching performance by senior pitcher Bukhari Brown. The third game of the series was supposed to be played tomorrow afternoon but was moved to today due to impending weather.

Sophomore Edward Jackson and senior Brandon Barnaprovided most of the offense for Alcorn in game one, bringing smacking two hits and two RBIs each with Barna recording his second triple of the campaign. Senior Kirt Cormier drove in the fifth run for the purple and gold while tallying two hits of his own.

Juniors Travaris Cole and Kyle Jenkins made the most noise with their bats in game two, posting five of the team’s ten hits and driving in three of the four runs while Jenkins picked up his first triple of 2019. Senior Brendly Martina drove in an RBI on a sacrifice fly in his only at-bat, effectively ending his consecutive on-base streak at 18 games.

On the mound for the Braves, senior starting pitcher Jose Fernandez was stellar in game one, allowing only three runs and six hits over five innings, striking out seven. Starter Bukhari Brown one-upped Fernandez’s performance, shutting down the Bulldogs with eight innings of one-run ball (0 earned), punching out seven batters and giving up seven hits in a masterful outing. Junior closer Austin Atwood slammed the door in game two, fanning two hitters in the ninth to record his third save.

Game One

Alabama A&M 7, Alcorn 5

A 1-2-3 top of the first for Alcorn and two runs by Alabama A&M in the bottom half put the Braves behind the eight ball early, falling behind 2-0 after one. Two innings would come and go before the visitors struck gold as an RBI single by Cormier scored freshman Tristin Garcia to cut it to one. Shortly thereafter, Jackson doubled to bring across Barna and Cormier to push the Braves in front 3-2 in the fourth.

The Bulldogs would not stay behind very long, as a sacrifice fly by Stephen Soto knotted the proceedings at three in the bottom of the fourth. Little action over the next inning and a half led to AAMU pushing two runs across with a perfectly placed single to right to reclaim the lead, 5-3 in the sixth.

Alcorn State University saw Barna come up in the clutch down two in the eighth inning, blasting a two-RBI triple to deep center (his second triple on the year) to knot the score at 5-5. Alabama A&M answered the call in the bottom half, using a Justin Lott two-run shot to go up 7-5. Alcorn would muster a single by junior Brandon Rembert but could not bring him in as Alcorn dropped fourth straight to fall to 3-8 overall.

Game Two

Alcorn 4, Alabama A&M 1

Travaris Cole wasted no time getting the visitors from Lorman on the board in game two, scooting a single up the middle with two down in the first to score Garcia and go ahead 1-0. Bukhari Brown strode to the mound and proceeded to strike out the side in the bottom half to set the tone for the nightcap.

After a Kyle Jenkins triple to lead off the second, infielder Brendly Martina skied a ball to deep center field to bring home Jenkins on a sacrifice fly and send the Braves to a 2-0 advantage. After another clean inning by Brown, Alcorn got RBI singles from Cole and Jenkins in the top of the third to provide some breathing room at 4-0 through three. Alabama A&M would scratch across an unearned run in the bottom of the third to make a dent on the scoreboard, 4-1 after a full three innings played.

Things started to get a bit dicey for the Braves in the bottom of the fifth, as two-out walks by Pierre Brewton and Raymond Santiago, accompanied by a single from Jonathan Smith II saw the Bulldogs fill the bases. Brown would refocus, forcing a groundout to the second baseman Garcia to escape unscathed.

Both sides would muster three more hits each heading into the final frame with Alcorn holding tight to a 4-1 margin. Closer Austin Atwood came in and saw the tying run step to the plate but was able to secure the victory and pick up his SWAC leading third save of the season for the purple and gold’s first SWAC win of 2019.

Alcorn baseball ends a 12-game road slate and will host Grambling State on Tuesday night in its home opener at 6 p.m.

 

 

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