Hornets Split SWAC Openers Against Miss. Valley St.



ASU Sports Information


The Alabama State baseball team earned a doubleheader split of its Southwestern Athletic Conference series opener, losing 3-2 in game one before winning the nightcap 12-2 in seven innings.

Alabama State Hornets

The Hornets (6-6 overall, 1-1 SWAC) got 13 hits and scoring in each of the last five innings in game two after being held to  just six hits in the opener.

Game three of the series is Monday at noon, with free admission at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

Game 1 – Miss. Valley St. 3, Hornets 2: Alabama State scored in the first inning. Cesar Rivera led off with a single and advanced to second on a fielding error. P.J. Biocic then followed with an RBI single to left field, scoring Rivera, with an error moving Biocic to second. He advanced to third on a balk, and scored on a one-out RBI groundout by Chris Biocic to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead.

Mississippi Valley St. (2-7-1, 1-4) scored two runs in the second inning and one in the third as both pitching staffs did not allow a run in the final six innings.

“It was kind of awkward the way we were flat in the first game,” Alabama State head coach Mervyl Melendez said. “You never want to see that when you open conference weekend. We’ve been really good offensively throughout the season, but unfortunately the game of baseball will bring you one of those type games.  We didn’t have good at-bats, and the approach was not good.”

Game 2 – Hornets 12, Miss. Valley St. 2 (7 innings): Yamil Pagan and P.J. Harris each hit two-run homers as Alabama State scored in innings 2-6 to take the nightcap,

In the second, after a leadoff single by Hunter Allen, Pagan homered to left on a 2-1 pitch to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead. In the third, Einar Muniz led off with a single, and scored on a single and an error off the bat of Chris Biocic. After Biocic advanced to third on a flyout, he scored on a sacrifice fly from Harris for a 4-0 Hornet lead.

After the Delta Devils scored a run in the top of the third, Alabama State scored four in the third to break the game open. With one out, Rivera doubled to right center and P.J. Biocic walked. Kevin Olmeda hit a two-run triple down the right field line, and scored on a throwing error on the play for a 7-1 lead. After Chris Biocic reached on error and stole second, he scored on an RBI single by Waldyvan Estrada for an 8-1 Hornet lead.

Leading 9-1 in the sixth, Harris’ two-run homer to right field and an RBI double by Dillon Cooper gave the Hornets their final run total.

Joseph Camacho (3-0) allowed just five hits, one unearned run, with two walks and four strikeouts, throwing 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes.

“It was good for him to rebound,” said Melendez of Camacho, who got a no decision last week at The Citadel.  “He was really good today, and we needed that. We needed him to be good after not hitting in the first game. I’m really proud of the guys the way they approached the second game after a tough game one.”