Butler Holds Off Ninth Inning Comeback Attempt From Alcorn

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Alcorn State

DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alcorn State Sports Information

 

LORMAN, Miss. – Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Alcorn State University baseball program scored twice and brought the winning to the plate, but Butler was able to hang on for a 3-2 result in the first of a four-game series Friday at Willie E. “Rat” McGowan Stadium.

The Braves (2-3) got the ninth frame going with a one-out double to left center by junior Wallace Rios Jimenez. Senior Walter Vives followed with a single up the middle to score Rios and get Alcorn on the board. After a groundout advanced Vives to second, senior Justin Barna ripped a two-out hit into center field to score Vives.

Butler (4-1) then turned to its closer Chris Myjak who was able to force a groundout to third base to end the game. It was Myjak’s second save of the year.

The first six innings was a pitcher’s duel between BU starter Jeff Schank (1-0) and senior Regynold Johnson (0-1). Schank went 7.0 innings of scoreless ball and struck out 12. Johnson allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings and fanned four.

Rios was Alcorn’s best offensive weapon on the day as he reached base three times, finishing one-for-two with a pair of walks.

Butler was guided by Michael Hartnagel who went two-for-four. Chris Maranto ended one-for-four but led off the game with a homer to leftfield.

Vives’ single in the ninth inning extended his hitting-streak to five games. Junior A.J. Makarewicz drew a walk in the sixth frame to extend his on-base streak to five.

Sophomore Carlos Lopez threw 1.2 scoreless, no-hit innings of relief.

Alcorn and Butler will square off again Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Quoting Alcorn head coach Bretton Richardson
Opening Statement
“The difference in the ballgame today was their starting pitcher, he was pretty tough. There’s no doubt he was clearly the best pitcher we’ve seen so far this year. He wasn’t a high velocity guy but he really commanded the strike-zone and struck out 12 batters. He was able to throw three pitches for strikes at any time and kept our guys off-balanced all day. Though, we hung in there, scratched, clawed and made the game interesting in the ninth inning. We just came up a little bit short.”

On Regynold Johnson
“He pitched into the seventh inning only giving up two runs and he gave us an opportunity to win the game. As a starting pitcher, that’s all you want to do. If we can get that type of performance from him the rest of the season every time he goes out then we should win a lot of games this year.”

On the ninth inning
“That was the other bright spot other than Regynold pitching was that our guys continue to fight. They didn’t give up, quit or give in. That’s a good sign because we’ll need to be at our best in late innings. If we can continue to keep fighting like this then I like the direction this ball club is headed.”

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