Alabama State Sports Information
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Alabama State used late-inning heroics to walk away with a 5-4 extra inning victory over Alabama A&M to remain undefeated in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play Friday afternoon.
As the sun began to fade behind three trees at Bulldog Field, the Hornets found themselves down a run entering their final at-bat. After Ricky Perez drew a pinch-hit one-out walk, Joseph Estrada beat out a potential game-ending double play to keep the inning alive. The senior stole second and then went to third on a throwing error by Alabama A&M catcher Wilanier Betancourt.
After Gustavo Rios was intentionally walked after the stolen base, Hunter Allen hit the second pitch of his at-bat to score Estrada and tie the game at 3-all. Alabama A&M (3-10, 0-4 SWAC) had their chance to win the game, but left a runner stranded in scoring position.
The Hornets took the lead in the top of the 10th frame after Hunter Phillips singled up the middle after a full count, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yamil Pagan. He would advance to third on a wild pitch, and later score on the first collegiate hit off the bat of AJ Gardner for a 4-3 lead. They Hornets would add another run, which would prove to be the game-winner, when Estrada singled up the middle to score Joshua Dunson who was hit by a pitch.
Alabama A&M had their chances in the bottom of the frame after a leadoff single, and then Betancourt putting the ball in play. He reached on a throwing error, which was backed up Allen. The senior catcher fired the ball down to second for the apparent out, but during the play the Bulldogs were able to take advantage and score to cut the Alabama State lead to 5-4. However, Terrell McCall closed the door and struck out two of the final batters he faced to record his first save of the season.
Alabama State fell behind 3-0 through the first four innings before scoring a pair in the fourth on a Ray Hernandez double to left that scored Allen and Rios to trim the deficit to one.
Chase Laney (3-0) picked up the win in relief, coming on in the ninth and working 0.2 innings. He allowed one run (unearned) off of one hit, while McCall worked the final inning of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts. Dalton Wilder came on in relief of starter Darren Kelly in the fourth, lasting 5.1 innings and allowing just three hits and recorded a pair of strikeouts. Allen finished the day 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI, while Estrada and Phillips each finished with a pair of hits for Alabama State (9-4, 4-0 SWAC).
The series continues Saturday with a single game, and concludes Sunday with a single game at 1 pm.