Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament – Day One Recap

SWAC Championships – Day One Recap 

Game One: Prairie View A&M and Florida A&M 

Inclement weather rolled in to Birmingham to push back the start time for the original first pitch time. After more that a three hour rain delay, the SWAC tournament officially opened between Prairie View A&M (29-26) and Florida A&M (27-28). Florida A&M opened the SWAC scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Jared Weber led off with a single, the next batter Joseph Pierini sacrificed bunt moved Weber to second and advanced to third on Grant Rowell’s ground out to the pitcher. Ty Hanchey doubled to left center which plated Weber for the game’s first run putting Florida A&M up 1-0.

Prairie View A&M would even the game at one, when in the top of the fourth inning Benjamin Ybarra doubled down the right field line, moved to third on a Braydon Johnson single to right field and was brought home on Sebastian Coria’s infield groundout.

Both teams struggled to score runs until the top of the eighth inning. PVAM scored three runs in the inning to take a 4-1 advantage. Tre Turner doubled to center field, moved to third base on Benjamin Ybarra’s sacrifice bunt, scored on a Brayden Johnson single that brought home Turner for a Prairie View 2-1 lead. The Panthers would add two more in the eight on hits by Coria and D. Cox. In the inning, PVAM had three hits leaving the bases loaded.

FAMU would jump right back into the game scoring two runs making it a one run game 4-3. Hanchey doubled to left center and advanced to third on a throwing error. LJ Bryant hit a sacrifice  fly to center field to plate Hanchey.

In the top of the ninth inning still leading, PVAM would go scoreless.

In the bottom of the ninth inning FAMU would tie the game. After Adam Haidermota was walked, Jalen Niles pinch ran for Haidermota and moved to second base on a wild pitch. PVAM’s Ty Tubbs relieved starter Robert Maldonado. Next batter Will Brown laid down a suicide squeeze to tie the game at 4-4 sending the games into extras.

Both teams would go scoreless in the tenth inning. It would remain scores until the bottom of the eleventh. After the first two batters recorded outs, back to back singles by FAMU Hanchey and Bryant had the winning run in scoring position. With two men on Robert Robinson’s single through the right side scored Hanchey for the walk off win.

For the Rattlers, Hanchey was 4-for-5 with two runs batted in, Weber was 3-for-5, and Grant Rowell had two hits. Florida A&M starting pitcher Huntr Viets threw 7.1 innings and recording five strikeouts.

Five of Prairie View A&M baseball players including Tre Turner, Ybarra, Braydon Johnson, Paul Castro, had two hits each.

Game Two: Bethune Cookman vs Grambling State

In the top of the first inning, Bethune Cookmen scored the game’s first run on Matthew Garcia’s single through the left side and advanced to third on a fielding error by Grambling left fielder Julian Murphy. Garcia was brought home on a single off the bat of Chris Patterson for a 1-0 lead.

Grambling would plate a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Tigers leadoff hitter Terry Burrell singled to center field, Jarficur Parker’s infield groundout advanced Burrell to second base, an infield groundout to second base moved Burrell to third base, and then scored on a passed ball to knot the game at 1-1.

Both teams would go scoreless through the second and third innings.

In the top of the fourth inning, Bethune Cookmen broke open the 1-1 game by adding three runs. Irvin Escobar doubled down the left field line, next batter Manny Souffrain walked, with two men on first and second and one out, Boris Pena’s tape-measure three-run home run to left field put the the Cats up 4-1.

At that point, the game was halted by a 33 minute rain delay. When play resumed, both teams went scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when Grambling would cut the deficit to 4-2. Terry Burrell singled through the left side. Trevor Hatton reached base on a hit to left field moving Burrell to third, Hatton stole second base, and then a wild pitch plated Burrell.

Grambling would add another run in the eighth inning cutting the deficit to 4-3. The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the ninth with two men aboard, but they were not able to score any runs as Bethune Cookman held on for the win.

Bethune Cookman’s Chris Patterson and Garcia had two hits each, and Boris Pena’s three run home run made the difference in the Wildcats win.

Grambling starter Shemar Page went the distance in a losing effort. He threw 9 innings of work and recorded seven strikeouts.

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