Press Release from Alcorn State Athletics
Trailing 4-0 after six innings, the Alcorn State University baseball program rallied for two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-4 in the season-opener Friday at Maestri Field as part of the Andre Dawson Classic.
The Braves (1-0) cut the deficit to 4-2 in the seventh with a two-run bomb by sophomore Kyle Jenkins over the left field fence. Alcorn further chipped into it, 4-3, with a solo shot by senior Kirt Cormier in the eighth.
The game-winner came with two outs in the eighth when junior Hunter Wilson blasted a two-run shot to right center to put the Braves ahead for good 5-4.
"I was very proud of the way our guys hung in there and kept their composure even when UAPB got out to a 4-0 lead. The guys didn't quit, they never wavered in their beliefs, and they persevered through it," said Alcorn head coach Bretton Richardson. "We emphasize that no matter what the score or situation is in a game, if we still have outs left then we are capable of coming back. We fought through it today and were able to come out on top."
Senior Jahborus Smith entered on the mound in the bottom of the eighth and tossed 2.0 innings of no-hit ball to close it down and earn a save. He struck out three of the six batters he faced.
"We wanted to get Jahborus some work today because we're planning on starting him next week. The plan coming into today was to give him one inning, but he breezed through it so quickly that we decided to send him back out there for the ninth. I was happy with the way he threw the ball today and hopefully he continues to do that," Richardson said.
Alcorn fanned 13 UAPB (0-1) hitters total in the game as senior Carlos Lopez started and struck out 10 in 6.0 innings. Junior Zachary Perez picked up the win after tossing a scoreless seventh frame.
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