On March 25th, game 3 of a 3 game Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) weekend series between the Jackson State University (JSU) Tigers and the Alcorn State University (ASU) Braves began at 1:00 pm at Willie ‘Rat’ McGowan Stadium in Lorman, Mississippi. On the mound starting for Alcorn State was a Junior from Jackson, Tennessee, Bukhari Brown and the starting pitcher for Jackson State was Junior, Rauvardo Torres from Fontana Carolina, Puerto Rico.
The top of the first inning went smooth for Brown on the mound despite a walk. Freshman third baseman Edward Jackson started a smooth eventual double play to end the top half of the 1st inning as the Tigers went scoreless. Torres on the mound for Jackson State got into trouble early in the first inning. He surrendered a walk to Braves’ lead off hitter Wallace Rios. After getting an out and walking another runner, Alcorn’s Designated Hitter (DH) Hunter Wilson drove in a run with a single. Captain DerVincent Hamilton then followed Wilson with a Run Batted In (RBI) single of his own. Torres was then able to stop the damage as he forced a double play. At end of the 1st inning Alcorn State led 2-0.
Brown took the mound in the 2nd inning and got into trouble early. After a pair of hits and a pair of walks the bases were loaded. A pass ball plated the Tigers’ first run of the game to cut the Braves’ lead to 2-1. After a strikeout, Jackson again turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the half inning. The Braves continued their offensive surge as Jackson started the inning off with a clean base hit. Jordan McGowan followed him with a hit of his own. Rios then hammered a double down the left field to plate two runs. After a pair of outs, Justin Barna knocked in Rios from second base with a base hit to right field to make the lead 5-1 at that point and that’s where the game remained as it entered the 3rd inning.
JSU refused to roll over in the top half of the 3rd inning as Brown surrendered 3 walks and a hit by a pitch to shrink the Braves lead to 5-3. Then a sacrifice fly led to another run for Jackson State as Brown got out of the half inning with the lead still in tact at 5-4. Alcorn State went away quietly in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a quick three up and three down. Brown went out in the top half of the 4th inning and had perhaps the best inning of his day with a quick 10 pitch inning.
The game began to cruise along as Torres from Jackson State issued a quick inning of his own. Entering the 5th inning Alcorn held the lead at 5-4. After Brown loaded the bases in the top half of the 5th inning, he was able to escape with no runs allowed to keep Alcorn’s narrow lead in tact at 5-4. In the bottom of the 5th Alcorn hits kept coming. Niko Hayes-Saltaire delivered a clutch 2 out hit that increased the Braves’ lead to 8-4. Alcorn State then made a pitching change and brought in Junior Reliever Zachary Perez. Perez allowed 3 hits in his first 5 batters including a 3 run homer from the Tigers Dezmund Chumley to cut their deficit to 8-7. The Braves then went quickly with three up and three down offensively as the game headed to the top of the 7th inning.
In the top of the 7th inning Jackson State took the lead with three base hits and one ASU error. Head Coach Brenton Richardson then made a move to the bullpen with runners on 1st and 3rd base and brought in Razedrick Winters. Chumley from Jackson State then walked to the plate and cleared the bases with a triple. The game entered the bottom of the 7th inning with the Tigers leading 11-8. Despite the early hot start the Braves’ bats seemed to calm down. In the bottom of the 7th inning Alcorn had one base runner but 0 runs.
The Braves gave up one more run on two hits in the top of the 8th and the game headed to the bottom half. After the bottom half of the 8th inning Alcorn was 3 outs away from losing.
In the top of the 9th inning Reginald Johnson entered as the new pitcher for the Braves. Johnson was able to retire the side with only one run allowed on just two hits. Alcorn entered the last inning searching for 5 runs to extend the game as they trailed 13-8. In the final inning of play Alcorn got two straight base runners on base. Things looked promising for the Braves until a ground ball to the third baseman started an eventual triple play to end the game and series. The Braves were defeated 13-8.
The Tigers scored 13 runs on 11 hits and only committed one error. Meanwhile the Braves scored 8 runs on 10 hits and committed 3 errors. The Braves, who lost all 3 games in the weekend SWAC series, currently possess a record of 1-8, 6-17 and are 5th in the Eastern Division. The Braves will be in action again at home on Friday, April 6th at 6:00 pm, Saturday, April 7th at 3:00 pm and Sunday, April 8th at 1:00 pm against the Alabama State University Hornets who are currently 6-3, 12-11 and are 2nd in the Eastern Division.