Wiley College opened the 2020 HBCU baseball season with a doubleheader sweep of Arlington Baptist University on Friday by the scores of 9-7 and 11-10 in Grand Prairie, Texas.
This marks the second year in a row that the Wiley Wildcats have opened the season with two wins against the same team.
In game one, the Wildcats took advantage of Arlington Baptist fielding miscues to plate four runs in the first inning then added five more runs for a 9-0 lead after the second inning. The big blow in the first inning came with bases loaded when Arlington Baptist starter Kacey Wagner hit Wiley’s Markus Garza with a pitch after Dominic Tezeno and Christian Biggs singled in their first at bats of the season. The Cats picked up another run on a balk call for a 4-0 lead.
The Wildcats would add five more runs in the second. More fielding errors by Arlington Baptist, two hit batters and fielding mistakes led to a early 9-0 lead. In the inning for Wiley, Biggs’ second hit of the game produced a run batted in along with Timmie Russell RBI sacrifice fly.
Arlington Baptist would not go away quietly, jumping on Cats starter Joe O’Bryant Jr. with two runs in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth before head coach Kendrick Biggs pulled O’Bryant. In relief, Demetrice Rudolph shut down any addition threat from the Patriots, allowing only two runners to reach base on one hit and a walk, then three up and three down in the seventh inning for the 9-7 win.
Tezeno, Biggs and Garza scored two runs each with Biggs going 2-for-3 at the plate. Aaron Hendrix, Manuel Torres and Jaylen Walker also scored a run the the game. O’Bryant picked up his first win of the season pitching 5.0 innings, allowed 8 hits, 7 runs, 5 earned runs while walking 4. Rudolph, in two innings on the hill, allowed only one hit to collect his first save to start the season.
In game two, the Wildcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Manuel Torres tripled, Biggs was hit by a pitch and a walked batter loaded the bases. Both Luis Santiago and Marcus Garza drove in runs with singles. Jose Mota’s sacrifice fly plated another run. Wiley would add more runs in the fourth inning on Santiago’s second run scoring RBI single and Mota walked with the bases loaded to added to the lead.
Arlington Baptist came storming back with eight runs, taking advantage of three walks, a hit batter and an error committed by the Wildcats. In addition to coming all the way back to tie the game, the Patriots even took the lead at 8-6. They would add two more runs in the seventh inning to claim a 10-7 advantage.
Down three runs, Wiley responded with three runs on a triple by Santiago, a squeeze bunt and aggressive base running to score the go-ahead run for the win and doubleheader sweep.
In the win, Santiago went 3-for-3 with five runs batted in RBIs. Torres was 2-for-2 scoring four runs during the contest. Wiley starter Roman Sorrell, a Black College Nines HBCU Baseball 2020 Pre-Season Elite, in his first start, threw 3 2/3 innings struck out four batters. Chance Guidry earned his first career victory with 2 1/3 innings pitched in relief, allowing one earned run off a hit and a walk.
Wiley College and Arlington Baptist play a doublehead to wrap up the series on Saturday.