Weekend Action Saw HBCU Baseball Programs Knock Off a Ranked Team and a Power Five Opponent

Jarvis Christian College

The Jarvis Christian baseball team opened it’s conference season upsetting the nation’s 12th ranked Louisiana State University Shreveport Pilots in a slugfest. The Bulldogs were behind going into the bottom of the seventh inning 9-5 when they exploded for 10 runs taking a commanding 15-9 lead. The Pilots would get two more runs in the top of the ninth inning, but it was not enough as Jarvis secured the 15-11 victory.

Jarvis took advantage of the Pilots’ pitching staff in the the 10 run seventh inning as multiple players reached base. Offensively, JC mustered 15 runs on 15 hits against the No. 12 ranked team in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Armond Barrios put together a good day with three hits, scored two runs and hit a home runs. Pedro Otero drove in a game-high four RBIs. Romeo Romero had a good day at the plate as he hit a home run and drove in three runs, Chandler Matthews drove in a pair of runs, while Kevin Cipria also had a pair of runs driven in.

Jarvis Christian starter Eloy Puentes, in 6.0 innings on the mound allowed eight hits, five runs while striking out five. Winning pitcher Phillip Griego, in relief, gave up four hits, four runs with two of them earned. Jan Reyes, in 2.0 innings on the hill recorded two strikeouts for the save.

North Carolina A&T University

North Carolina A&T won its first home game of the 2020 baseball season by beating a Power Five opponent from a top ranked conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Aggies knocked off Boston College, 2-1, on Friday at War Memorial Stadium. It was the second straight year that NC A&T baseball has defeated an ACC opponent.

The Aggies, during the 2019 season, earned one of the biggest upset wins in program history by defeating the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, 2-0 for its first Power Five win.

Both teams struggled to score runs in the game. BC took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. That changed in the sixth inning when hit batter and a walk, set up the NC A&T game-tying run. Center fielder Donte Wade drove in the tying run on a two-out double down the left field line.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Aggies’ third baseman Justin Williams led the inning off with a single, Williams was sacrifice to second and after a wild pitch, Williams scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice-fly from shortstop Dustin Baber for the 2-1 upset win.

In the game, Baber had one run batted in and a walk, Wade went 1 for 3 with an RBI. The ace of NC A&T pitching staff, Michael Johnson, threw a gem going seven strong innings allowing just one run on six hits with a season-high eight strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Evan Gates entered in the eighth and went 1.1 innings in relief to earn the save with two strikeouts in the ninth.

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