Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament – Day Two Recap

SWAC Championships – Day Two Recap 

Game One: Jackson State vs Southern University

BIRMINHHAM, AL,  in the first inning, Jackson State’s (29-26) Jatavis Melton led off with a single to right field, the next batter, Devontae Rhodes, reached base on an fielding error on a sacrifice bunt by Southern first baseman O”Neill Burgos, Ty Hill fielder’s choice groundout then moved Melton to third. Jaelen Williams’ sacrifice fly then scored Melton for the game’s first run giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first inning, back-to-back doubles by Jovante Dorris and O’Neill Burgos tied the game at 1-1. In the top of the second inning, Jackson State exploded for fours runs on five hits. The Tigers hit four singles for a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the second inning JJ Rollon opened the inning with a triple to right center field. Jaylen Armstrong walked; Rollon tried to advance on a wild pitch, but out at home.

In the bottom of the third inning Southern (25-29) plated three runs on two homers in the inning. Jovante Dorris, whose first at bat was a triple, belted a home run to left field putting Southern down by a 5-2 score. The inning was extended as Burgos walked and the next batter Tremaine Spears belted a two-run home run to left field, making it a 5-4 game.

The Tigers would increase its lead to 7-4 on back-to-back doubles by Williams and El’Rico Riley. Jackson State add another run to cross the plate on a throwing error by Southern shortstop Justin Wiley in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Southern would get two runs in the inning making it a 7-6 ball game. The Jaguars would tie the game up at 7-7 on a single by Burgos in the bottom of the eighth.

In the top of the ninth inning Jackson State threatened with two runners on first and second base with two outs. But Southern was able to pitch out of the jam aided by a fielder’s choice out at second that ended the Tigers threat.

In the bottom of the ninth, Southern’s Taj Porter reached base after being hit by a pitch. Jalon Mack pinch ran for Porter, then Hunter Tabb doubled down the left field line. With runners on second and third base, a JJ Rollon sacrifice fly scored the come from behind winning run for Southern University’s 8-7 victory.

On the offensive side for Southern, Dorris was 3-for-5 including a double at the plate, Burgos had three hits including a home run. Tabb and Rollon each hit doubles, and Porter hit a homer. Joseph Battaglia, in 8.0 innings on the hill, allowed 13 hit and seven runs.

Jackson State’s Melton, Devontae Rhodes, Williams, Riley, and Caleb Evans each had two hits. Starting pitcher Nikelle Galatas recorded 11 strikeouts.

Game Two: Alabama State vs Texas Southern

The fourth game of the SWAC tournament between Alabama State (30-23) and Texas Southern (28-23) started as a pitcher’s duel for the first three innings between TSU’s CJ Castillo and the Hornets’ Breon Pooler… until the bottom of the fourth inning. Dilan Espinal tripled down the left field line. The next batter, Christian Lopez singled up the middle giving Alabama State a 1-0 lead.

Alabama State would score again in the bottom of the fifth, plating two more runs and increasing its lead to 3-0. Ian Matos started the inning with a single to right field, Cory King was called out on batter interference, Cristopher DeGuzman was hit by a pitch moving Matos to second base. With two outs, Hunter May singled up the middle scoring both Matos and DeGuzman to extend the lead to 3-0. ASU would add another run in the bottom of the seventh inning for 4-0 lead.

In the top of the eighth inning, Texas Southern got on the scoreboard. After walks to Justin Cooper and Juan Sanchez, who pinch hit for Reuben Benneveendo, with two men on board and two outs, Roderick Coffee hit a three-run home run to left field which made it a one run 4-3 game.

In the Texas Southern ninth, after Gabe Vasquez singled but the next two batters recorded outs handing Alabama State the 4-3 win.

Alabama State’s Kyler McIntosh was 2-for-3. Pitcher Breon Pooler, in 7.1 innings pitched, allowed three hits and one run to cross the plate. Payton Harris picked up the save in relief.

Texas Southern’s Roderick Coffee was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in.


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