Who’s Hot in HBCU Baseball: Kentucky State Slugger Joseph Esparza

The Kentucky State Thorobreds overcame a ten-run deficit to defeat the Asbury University Eagles 13-12 in an electrifying ninth inning midweek game. The Eagles led the Thorobreds 10-0 at the end of the second inning, with eight of those runs coming in the first.

KSU mounted a comeback with a late inning rally. After Asbury scored its final runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 12-1 lead, Kentucky State answered with seven runs. Joseph Esparza was just getting his day started. Esparza singled and scored two runs.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Esparza doubled to right field, adding another run and cutting the deficit to two.

With bases loaded, Esparza doubled to left field that brought in the three winning runs to secure a 13-12 victory in the bottom of the ninth.

Esparza was 3-for-6 at the plate with a double, scored two runs, and five runs batted in.

In the first matchup since Edward Waters and Kentucky State last played each other in the Black College World Series Championship game last May, Edward Waters scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and won the first game of the doubleheader 7-6.

Esparza who, in a losing effort, batted 2-for-5, hit a triple and added a three-run home run.

In game two of the doubleheader, Kentucky State collected a 6-3 win. Esparza hit a double and stole a base.

The series finale was a 9-8 win over Edward Waters and Esparza started things off early with a three-run homerun in the first inning. He would single a runner home in the fourth inning extending the Thorobreds lead to 5-1 at the end of the fourth.

Edward Waters mounted a comeback, scoring six runs in the fifth and six innings to take a 8-5 lead after the six innings. The Thorobreds tied the game at 8-8 in the top of the ninth before Esparza’s sacrifice fly to center scored the game winning run to secure the 9-8 Kentucky State victory.

Esparza was 3-for-4, with three hits, a three-run shot (his second three-run homer of the series) and recorded five runs batted in.

Against Edward Waters during the weekend series Esparza belted two three-run home runs and recorded 11 runs batted in hitting for the weekend cycle.  In 10 games played, Esparza has 23 runs batted in this season.

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