Shreveport, La. – For the first time in school history, Alcorn State is celebrating a SWAC baseball championship. The Braves continued their offensive assault on the rest of the teams in the tournament with a 12-6 victory over Southern in Sunday’s championship final at Fair Grounds Field.
Tournament most valuable player, Alcorn designated hitter, Kilby Perdomo, hit his third home run in four games to give Alcorn a 1-0 lead before the Jaguars had even a chance at bat.
Cameron McGriff tied the game in the bottom of the second with a solo shot of his own.
Alcorn State, however carded four run innings in the fourth and sixth, and then added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth to keep the Jaguars at arm’s length all day.
Eduardo Gonzalez’s double down the left field line plated a run and was followed by a two-run single by Antolin Morales to key the four-run fourth for the Braves. Another run scored on a wild pitch, and ASU led for good, 5-1.
The bottom of the fourth proved to be a turning point if Southern was to make a comeback. After a run scored while Alcorn was trying to turn a routine double play, the throw to first base got away. Dio Gonzalez attempted to score on the error, but was out at the plate, halting a Jaguar rally. Gonzalez and SU assistant coach Fernando Puebla were ejected from the game for arguing the call at home plate.
Kenny Rowan’s two-run homer in the sixth gave the Braves a 7-2 lead before adding two more runs in the inning to make it 9-2.
Southern was able to chase Alcorn starter Brent Blaum in the sixth as McGriff added another RBI, and the Jaguars scored three times. Another McGriff RBI on a sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 9-6, but that is as close as Southern would get.
Rowan knocked in another run with a double in the ninth to highlight a three-run rally in the final two innings that let the Braves be on cruise control for their first SWAC title.
Steve Easter worked 3.2 innings of solid relief giving up just one unearned run to earn the save. Blaum (2-5) earned the victory, while Jaguar starter Jose DeLeon (5-2) took the loss.
Alcorn scored 51 runs in the tournament in going 4-0 and earning the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The pairing will be announced next week.
2011 SWAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Kilby Perdomo – Alcorn State (MVP); Kenny Rowan – Alcorn State; Eduardo Gonzalez – Alcorn State; Steve Easter – Alcorn State; Wilmy Marrero – Southern; Frazier Hall – Southern; Ozzie Lamis – Southern; Dakota Laufenberg – Texas Southern; Charles Epperson – Jackson State; Kendall Logan – Jackson State; Eldred Barnett – Grambling; Giovanni Angel – Prairie View A&M.
Coach of the Year: Barret Rey, Alcorn State