Three HBCU Programs Open 2016 College Baseball Season Victorious

Clark Atlanta University, Concordia College (Selma) and Paine College baseball teams played their respective 2016 season openers as all three Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball teams split with their opponents to start the college baseball season.

Concordia College hosted Clark Atlanta University in Selma, Alabama and split the season-opening doubleheader.

Clark Atlanta scored the game’s first run on Concordia second baseman Jamel Stewart’s fielding error which allowed Jason Howell to score an unearned run in the first inning. The Panthers scored again after Howell stole second and later scored from third on a bases-loaded walk in the second inning.

Concordia scored two runs in the bottom half of the second inning to tie the game. The Hornets took the lead in the third with a bases-loaded single to right field before a double play ended the inning.

The Panthers of Clark Atlanta had a three-run fourth inning to take a 5-2 lead before Concordia responded with four runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for a 7-6 Victory.

In game two, there was no score through the first five innings until the top of the six inning when the Hornets walked two batters then scored both on a single up the middle by right-fielder St. George Pink.

Concordia fought back with two of its own to tie the game in the bottom of the six inning.

Clark Atlanta came back to win game two with a two-out rally in the top of the seventh inning breaking a 2-2 tie. Ryan Betts delivered a opposite-field single to left field to retake the lead for Clark Atlanta, 3-2.

There was drama in the bottom of the seventh inning. After two batters where walked, with one out relief pitch Jordan Johnson forced a ground ball game ending double play earning Clark Atlanta the split.

Johnson (1-0), pitched 1.1 innings in relief for the win. Starter Michael Haywood Jr. worked 5.2 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 unearned runs.

No. 10 ranked Paine College in Black College Nines’ Top 10 preseason poll, lived up to the hype opening the season with a thrilling home win against Coker College in Augusta, Georgia.  Paine was led by two of Black College Nines’ preseason All-Americans, Fentress Henderson and starting pitcher Evan Krenz.

Henderson’s fly ball to right field scored Paine’s first run of the season taking a 1-0 lead. The scoring continued in the second inning as Jalen Horton singled to center field knocking in Brisco Johnson for a 2-0 lead. Paine led 4-1 going into the top of the 6th inning before Coker College put up 3 runs to tie the game. Paine won in extra innings, taking game one of the scheduled doubleheader by the score of 5-4.

All-American pitcher Evan Krenz earned the victory (1-0) going 6 innings, with 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run and 2 strikeouts. Quentin Alsbrook, in relief, picked up the save.

In game two, Coker College scored all of its runs in the first five innings in route to a 9-2 doubleheader split.