Michael Hovermill Delivers Strong Outing, Alabama A&M Baseball Topples Alcorn State

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NCAA DI/SWAC/Baseball

 

Alabama A&M Sports Information

 

HUNTSVILLE – Michael Hovermill felt it when he arrived at the ballpark.

The weather wet. The sky was overcast.

But the Alabama A&M right-handed pitcher knew it was going to be a good day.

Turns out, he was right.

Hovermill delivered his best pitching performance of the season, going deep into the game as Alabama A&M topped Alcorn State 11-2 Friday afternoon to open a three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference series at Bulldog Field.

Alabama A&M (1-9, 1-0 in SWAC) hosts Alcorn State (3-7, 0-1) in a doubleheader on Saturday to wrap up the series. Game 1 begins at 11 a.m.

With the win, Alabama A&M gave first-year coach Manny Lora his first career win.

“We played good baseball,” Lora said. “Timely hits. Good pitching. A pretty much clean game. That’s the recipe for baseball success just about any day of the week.”

In spite of the damp, muddy conditions, Alabama A&M had plenty to be happy about.

On the mound, Hovermill (1-2) was strong, striking out six while holding Alcorn State to six hits and one earned run while walking one in eight innings.

The only real blemish on Hovermill’s stat line occurred in the top of the first inning, when Alcorn State scored a run on two hits to take an early 1-0 lead.

But that lead did not last long.

Stephen Soto drove in Jonathan Smitt II on an RBI double, and Richard Polinsky followed with a three RBI double that sparked a five-run rally that gave Alabama A&M the lead for good.

Alabama A&M added two runs in the fourth, and the Bulldogs had stretched the cushion to 10-1 by the end of the seventh inning.

Polinsky led Alabama A&M at the plate with a hit and three RBIs, while Soto had two hits and two RBIs. Tyus O’Neal-El and Fernando Diaz Jr. each had two hits for the Bulldogs.

“When we arrived here today, you could tell that this was going to be the day that we put everything together,” Hovermill said. “We’ve played well, at times, during the first couple weeks of the season, but haven’t been able to get over that hump and get that first win.

“Everything fell into place today. The guys around me played great defense. On top of that, I was able to pitch with the lead most of the day, which, for a pitcher, is huge. Overall, it was a really, really good day.

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