Grambling Tigers Roar To Tournament-Opening Victory


Grambling State Sports Information



Grambling State Sports Information


NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Grambling State University baseball team plated eight runs in the first two innings and did not look back as the Tigers opened the 2019 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Baseball Tournament with a 14-4 victory over Alcorn State on Wednesday morning at Wesley Barrow Stadium.

Grambling State (25-23), the West Division No. 2 seed, advances to meet Alabama State (East No. 1 seed) on Thursday at 3 p.m. in the winner’ bracket. Alcorn State (14-30) falls into the elimination bracket and will face Prairie View A&M at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

How It Happened
Grambling State, which sent 10 batters to the plate, struck for four runs on just one hit in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 4-0 advantage.

With one down, Drexler Macaay was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Richard Ortiz doubled to right center to plate Macaay. Rafael Ramirez, III and Jahmoi Percival walked to load the bases. Grant Smith and Warren Laster drew base on balls as Ortiz and Ramirez scored. Ian Bailey popped up to shallow right as Percival tagged from third to score as the Tigers exploded for four runs.

GSU added to the advantage in the second inning.

Macaay walked and Ortiz singled down the right field line to open the frame. Ramirez singled through the right side to plate Macaay and with one down, Smith doubled to left center to score Oritz. Laster followed with a double down the left field line to plate Ramirez and Smith, giving the Tigers an 8-0 lead.

Alcorn State picked up one run as the Braves took advantage of a Grambling State error to cut the deficit to 8-1 in the top of the third.

A Percival solo homer in the bottom of the fourth extended the Tigers lead to 9-1.

Back came the Braves with one run in the fifth, but Grambling State matched it with a run in the bottom of the frame to push the margin to 10-2.

Alcorn State took advantage of an error in the seventh and scored two runs to trim the deficit to 10-4.

Grambling State answered in the bottom of the frame with three runs to extend the lead to 13-4.

Torres tripled to right center to begin the inning and scored on a wild pitch. Macaay and Ortiz both drew walks and advanced a base on a wild pitch. Trevin Bolden walked to load the bases and Smith singled through the left side to plate Phil Adams, Jr., who pinch ran for Ortiz. Laster brought Bolden across on a sacrifice fly to center.

The Tigers won the game in the eighth as CJ Mervilus led off the inning with a base hit to right and came across to score the game-winning run on a Bolden sacrifice fly.

Inside the Numbers
> Grambling State finished with 14 runs on nine hits, committed three errors and left 10 on base
Richard Ortiz and Garret Smith each collected two hits to pace the offensive output for the Tigers
Jason Alvarez picked up the complete-game victory. He gave up four runs (two earned) on nine hits, fanned eight and walked three in eight innings
> Alcorn State finished with four runs on nine hits, committed two errors and stranded eight on base
> Tristin Garcia and Jordan McGowan each recorded two hits to lead the Braves
> Carlos Lopez took the loss as he surrendered six runs on just two hits, walked five and struck out one in one inning of work
> Abdallah Salman, Tyler Smith and Devon Key pitched in relief

News and Notes
> Grambling State entered the tournament as the SWAC Western Division No. 2 seed
> Alcorn State entered the tournament as the SWAC Eastern Division No. 3 seed
> This was the third meeting between Grambling State and Alcorn State this season
> The Tigers won their third straight against the Braves and have not conceded a loss against Alcorn State since 2017
> Grambling State has won six straight over Alcorn State, dating back to the 7-6 SWAC Baseball Tournament loss in 2017
> Dating back to the 2018 season, Grambling State has won four out of its last six tournament games
Bryan DelgadoDrexler MacaayIsaiah Torres and Kevin Whitaker, Jr. were named to the All-SWAC Second Team on Tuesday
> Grambling State head coach James Cooper improved to 12-10 overall against Alcorn State
> With the win, James Cooper moved to .500 in SWAC Tournament play (14-14)
> The Tigers improved to 8-2 against opponents on the top portion of the bracket (losses to Prairie View A&M)

Up Next
Grambling State advanced in the winner’s bracket and will face Alabama State (East No. 1) on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Wesley Barrow Stadium.

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