Carlos Ocasio And Austin Bizzle Pace Alabama State Past Florida A&M

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Carlos Ocasio doubled twice and Austin Bizzle pitched three-scoreless innings of relief as the Alabama State University baseball team rallied from an early deficit to edge Florida A&M, 6-5, on Wednesday night in a non-conference game at Moore-Kittles Field.

“I preach competing from first pitch to the end and playing hard,” Alabama State head coach Jose` Vazquez said. “When you do that, this game is going to reward you and that’s what happened tonight. We overcame some situations where we should have scored, but at the end of the day, we never gave up. This was a big win against a very good team.”

Alabama State (11-15) used five pitchers as starter Jon Roblez worked 2.0 innings. Roblez gave up two runs on four hits. Brandon Caples, Patrick Coffin, Bizzle (1-0) and Chase Laney pitched in relief. Bizzle picked up his first win of the season in 3.0 innings of work. He surrendered just one hit and fanned two. Laney earned his first collegiate save by recording three outs in the ninth.

“He (Bizzle) was actually better than he was on Sunday,” Vazquez said about Bizzle, who tossed 92 pitches in Sunday’s 7-6 win over Mississippi Valley State. “He has worked extremely hard and has prepared his body. Because of him we were able to stay in the game and Chase coming in and getting the save in the ninth. This was just a big win against a very good team.”

Alabama State, which has won four straight, picked up a run in the top of the first to grab an early lead.

Diandre Amion reached base on a dropped third strike to lead off the game and Carlos Ocasio, who went 3-for-5, singled through the left side. Cage Cox, who went 3-for-4, drew a no-out walk to load the bases. Gustavo Rios bounced into a double play as Amion scored from third to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Still with two outs, Ray Hernandez and Chris Biocic drew back-to-back walks, but Joseph Estrada struck out to end the inning.

Florida A&M tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by John Capra.

The Rattlers (15-10) took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the second with a two-out RBI base hit to left by Dallas Oliver.

Alabama State rallied in the top of the sixth with four runs on five hits to grab a 5-2 advantage.

Ocasio led off the top of the sixth with a double down the left field line and came in to score on Cox’s double to right. Rios followed with a base hit to right to move Cox to third. Hernandez walked to load the bases. Cox scored on wild pitch as the runners advanced a base. Biocic cleared the bases with the third double of the inning, a shot down the left field line, to plate Rios and Hernandez and give Alabama State four runs in the frame.

Florida A&M struck back in the bottom of the sixth with three runs on three hits and took advantage of a very crucial error to tie the game at 5.

The Hornets quickly answered in the top of the seventh with one run as Amion doubled to left center and scored with Ocasio’s double down the line in left to give ASU a 6-5 lead.

The Rattlers refused to go quietly as Capra led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit to right center. Brian Davis popped up to center for the first out and Ben Ellzey flied out to right for the second. Aubrey McCarty followed and flied out to left to end the game.

Dylan Carlson went 5.0 innings in his first-career start and gave up one unearned run on two hits with six strikeouts. Jamie Grant, Thomas Nicoll (2-2) and Hunter Fillingim worked in relief.

Alabama State will play its next four games at home, including a three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) series against Alcorn State, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

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