Press Release from Alcorn State Sports
The Alcorn State University baseball program built an early 2-0 lead, but Jackson State tied the game in the sixth and scored two more run in the eighth as the Braves fell 4-3 in Friday's SWAC Tournament elimination game at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
With the loss, Alcorn finishes the season 13-39 overall.
"We definitely had our opportunities today," said head coach Bretton Richardson. "We just came up a little bit short. Their guy came out of the pen in the fourth and held us in check until we were able to scratch a run across in the ninth. We had our opportunities, but weren't able to take advantage of them. You have to tip your hat to Jackson State, they were just a little but better than we were today."
The Braves looked to start off quick against the Tigers (34-17). In the top of the first, Justin Barna led off with a double to left and moved up on a Wallace Rios Jimenez sacrifice bunt. The Gulfport, Miss. product then put Alcorn on the scoreboard as he touched home on a Der'Vincent Hamilton ground out to second. JSU looked to answer in the bottom of the second as the Tigers loaded the bases with one out, but the defense got the force out at home and George Osborne IIIgot the next batter looking to end the threat.
Alcorn added to its lead with a run in the fourth. After Kyle Jenkins and Jordan McGowan both walked, A.J. Makarewiczreached on a fielder's choice and McGowan was safe at second as the JSU second baseman committed a fielding error. With the bases juiced, Brendly Martina worked a full count to make it a 2-0 game and earn an RBI. Unfortunately, the Braves couldn't add any more insurance as the home team induced a line out and a ground out to get out of the jam.
JSU responded with a pair of runs in the sixth. After a leadoff double to right center, a single to center, and a wild pitch put runners in scoring position, the Tigers earned a free trip to first to load the bases. The Blue, White, and Gray then drew a walk for their first run and brought in another on a fielder's choice to pull even, 2-2.
The Tigers took the lead in eighth with two runs on three hits. With runners on first and second, a single up the middle put JSU in control 3-2. The next batter then found a hole in the right side of the defense to plate another runner. Down to its last three outs, Alcorn was able to get one run across as Hunter Wilson singled to right and Christian Acklin subbed in as a pinch runner. Jenkins would reach on a fielding error, with Acklin advancing to third, and the senior from La Vergne, Tenn. Narrowed the gap as he tagged up on a McGowan sac fly to center. However, with two outs, JSU induced a pop out to third to end Alcorn's Cinderella run.
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