Ray Hernandez and Carlos Ocasio homer As Alabama State Cruises Past Mississippi Valley State





Alabama State Sports Information


ITTA BENA, Miss. – Ray Hernandez and Carlos Ocasio homered as the Alabama State University baseball team cruised to a 14-2 victory in seven innings over Mississippi Valley State in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play on Friday afternoon at Magnolia Field.

We had two great days of preparation before coming into this series,” Alabama State head coach Jose` Vazquez said. “We went back to the drawing board after coming back from Houston and we started paying attention to the little details that will help us get better. We needed this win. I’m glad we were able to come out and compete. We have a long weekend ahead of us, but we are going to enjoy this one for a little bit and get ready for tomorrow.”

Tyler Howe (3-3) earned the complete-game win in 7.0 innings pitched. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits with one walk. Howe finished with nine strikeouts, including striking out the side in the sixth.

Alabama State (8-15 overall, 5-2 SWAC), which snapped a seven-game losing streak on Friday, exploded for five runs on six hits to take control from the start in the opening inning.

Diandre Amion led off the game with a base hit to center and Ocasio, who went 3-for-5, reached on an infield hit. Cage Cox followed with a single through the right side to load the bases. Gustavo Rios, who went 4-for-4, brought Amion home with a single through the left side and Ocasio came in to score on Hernandez’s base hit up the middle. Hunter Phillips grounded out to the first baseman, the first out of the inning, as Cox came in to score. Hunter Allen plated Rios with a sacrifice fly to left and Hernandez scored on a single to right by Joseph Estrada to give ASU a 5-0 lead.

The Hornets added to the advantage in the second as Carlos Ocasio crushed his second homer of the season. Cox, who went 3-for-4, singled up the middle and Rios followed with a base hit to left. Hernandez, who went 2-for-4, brought everyone home with his fourth round tripper of the season, a three-run shot to left, to extend the Alabama State lead to 9-0.

Mississippi Valley State (4-14, 3-7) got on the scoreboard with one run on two hits in the bottom of the second inning.

The Hornets grabbed three runs on three runs in the third to extend the advantage to 12-1.

Ocasio reached on a fielder’s choice in the frame and scored on Cox’s double to center. Rios singled through the left side and Hernandez drew a walk to load the bases. Cox scored on a wild pitch as the runners advanced a base. Phillips followed with a ground out to the shortstop as Rios came in to score.

Alabama State added to the lead with two runs on two hits in the fourth.

Eriq White drew a one-out walk and scored on Ocasio’s double to left center. After a pitching change, Rios just missed a home run as the ball bounced off the left field wall for a double as Ocasio scored to extend the margin to 14-1.

The Delta Devils got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, but that was as close as they would get.

Dustin Stewart (2-4) took the loss as he was tagged for nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits in 1.1 innings. Sherrod Reed and Jackson Webb pitched in relief.

Alabama State continues its three-game SWAC series on Saturday at Magnolia Field against Mississippi Valley State. First pitch against the Delta Devils is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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