Several HBCU small school baseball teams knocked off teams listed in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches poll over the weekend. So how in the world did Jarvis Christian, Edward Waters and Talladega post upsets wins?
Jarvis Christian took three of four games from (RV) Southwestern Christian University including a doubleheader sweep to win the four game series.
In the opening series doubleheader played at Bethany, Oklahoma. Jarvis earned a split losing game one 5-3, before bouncing back to even the series with a 4-1 victory in game two.
In game two, starting Bulldog pitcher Justin Lockley was lights out on the hill going seven strong innings allowing seven hits, one run, no earned runs while striking out four for the complete game win.
In the series clinching doubleheader sweep, Jarvis Christian’s offense pounded out 14 hits in each game on its way to 6-1 and 8-1 victories over Southwestern Christian.
In game one, Jarvis Christian (7-4) jumped on the Eagles in the first inning sending seven men to the plate in the top half of the first, scoring two runs on two hits and two fielding errors by Southwestern. Jarvis would add three more runs in the top half of the seventh for the 6-1 win.
For the second day in a row, Jarvis Christian had a complete game performance from its starter. Eloy Puentes pitching seven solid innings, gave up six hits, one run, just one earned run and struck out four batters.
In the series clinching game, in game two. Jarvis collected four base hits, all singles, and capitalized on Eagle fielding errors plating three runs for a 3-0 lead. In the top half of the second inning, Jarvis Christian plating another run then a four-run third inning blew the game wide open as Jarvis Christian knocked off a nationally ranked team.
Jalen Thomas threw six strong inning on the mound and Scott Valenzuela closed the game. The game also featured a baseball rare triple-play. With the bases packed full of Eagle runners with no outs, a batted line drive caught by shortstop Dalton Dunagan who quickly whipped the ball around the infield for the triple-play.
Edward Waters picked up two huge victories over the weekend in Lake Wales, Florida, in the Warner University Round Robin Tournament. After a first game 7-3 loss to National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) No. 2 ranked Warner University on Friday, EWC stormed back to upset Reinhardt University, who received votes in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches poll, by the score of 9-8 and got its revenge against Warner with a 4-2 upset win.
In game one, Edward Waters scored all of its runs in the bottom of the first inning with a 9-0 lead after all starters batted around. The big blow in the inning came off of the bats of Tiger senior outfielder Keilin Washington‘s run scoring single and Cayden Frankie whose single plated two runs.
Reinhardt would claw back into the game scoring three runs in the fourth inning. Down 9-4, they added four more runs in the sixth inning, reducing the lead to one run 9-8. EWC relief pitcher Will Valenti shut the door on Reinhardt’s mounting threat to earn the save. Cayden Frankie led the Tigers going two for three with two runs batted in.
In the second game of the tournament between Edward Waters and Warner, the Tigers scored the game’s first run on Keilin Washington’s RBI to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Warner even the score in the fourth, took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning before EWC’s senior outfielder Freddy Torres‘ homerun in the top of the sixth knotted the game at 2-2.
The Tigers would win the game in the ninth inning. A run producing single by Joseph Martin-Hornan made it a 3-2 lead followed by Ryan Dowling triple plated Martin-Hornan for the 4-2 victory.
In the game, Dowling was two for three with a single, a triple, and an run batted in. Right-handed starter Tyler Sessions held the Royals at bay on the mound going 4.1 innings, allowing one earned run, three hits, four walks, and five strikeouts. Frank Grimaldi recorded the win in relief going 4.2 innings, allowed three hits and two strikeouts.
Talladega continues it’s scorching torrid scheduled playing 28 games against ranked teams in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll, took two of three games from No. 22 Middle Georgia State with a thrilling 7-6 win in the opening game of the three-game series.
The Tornadoes’ win was a total team effort. Talladega’s Wilkin Louis went one for two with a homerun and RBI, Alex Venture went two for three with two runs scored, Wander Talia went two for three with two runs batted in and one run scored. The game‘s big hit came off the bat of Brian Serra, who belted a three-run homerun in the sixth inning. On the hill, Marcos Romano, in 1.1 innings got the win and David Padilla got the save.
Middle Georgia State defeated Talladega 10-3 to even the series in game two that was suspended by darkness and rescheduled to resumed as a doubleheader.
Talladega in a pitchers duel mustard out a 4-2 series clinching win getting it’s current fifth victory against the nation‘s NAIA Top 25 opponents since the start of the 2020 season. Richard Blackman pitched eight innings with ten strikeouts allowing only two runs. At the plate, Wilkin Louis went two for three with two RBIs, Brian Serra went one for three with one run batted in. David Padilla got the save, his second save of the weekend series.