BIRMINGHAM, AL — Rickwood Field has seen its share of baseball history in its more than 100 years of existence.
On Saturday, a new chapter was written when Alabama A&M swept a doubleheader from Alabama State, 8-3 and 5-2 to win the inaugural Magic City Diamond Classic.
It was the first series sweep of the Hornets by A&M since 2010 and the wins ended ASU’s streak of winning 17 straight series.
The Bulldogs are 16-8 in the SWAC East (24-24 overall), 1 1/2 games behind first-place Alabama State (16-5) and .033 percentage point behind Jackson State (14-6).
In the first game Saturday, Andrew Utterback and Dustin Dhanani each homered as Joshua Freeman picked up his second straight win.
In the nightcap, A&M scored two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning en route to the win.
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs scored when Ty Russell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Austin Hulsey to tie the score.
And, one out later, Dhanani was walked with the bases still loaded and Utterback scored for a 2-1 A&M lead.
In the fifth inning, Ben Lott hit a one-out triple and scored on Hulsey’s single.
After Utterback singled, Julio Nunez ripped a double, driving in Hulsey and Utterback for a 5-1 lead.
Utterback finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Nunez was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Starter Caleb Bowen went five innings giving up a run on two hits and four walks. Taylor Knight pitched three innings of scoreless relief and Utterback picked up his sixth save of the season pitching in the ninth inning.
Dhanani had three RBIs in the opener and Utterback drove in two more runs.
Dhanani’s first RBI came in the second when he singled to score Justen Folger.
Utterback homered in the third inning with Ben Lott on base for a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Dhanani homered to left field to score Jordan Friend for a 5-0 lead.
After the Hornets scored in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs countered when Justen Folger singled to drive in Hulsey for a 6-1 lead.
The Bulldogs’ final two runs came in the seventh inning when Patrick Dodson scored on a wild pitch and Friend’s foul ball sacrifice fly scored Utterback from third base.
Hulsey, Utterback, Folger and Dhanani each had two hits while Utterback also had 2 RBIs and a run scored.
Freeman pitched seven innings and struck out seven to pick up the win. Devin Smith and Utterback closed out the win.
AAMU Sports Information