Columbia, S.C. – Sophomore Jeremy Arrington recorded three hits and two runs balled in to lead Albany State to the SIAC Baseball Championship with a 9-5 victory over Stillman College.
With the win, ASU wins its first SIAC title since 2010.
The Golden Rams, who started the season with a 1-16 overall record, improve to 20-32 overall. Albany State receives an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Regional Playoffs, which will be held May 14-17. Opponents and sites will be determined on May 10.
Stillman, winners of the last four SIAC championships, ends its season at 14-21.
Albany State opened its scoring in the top of the second inning when Arrington’s single scored Hector Carrasquillo, who smashed a double to get on base. Ryan Latner hit a single of his own to send Arrington to the plate, and the Golden Rams led 2-0. Stillman scored its first run in the bottom of the inning to cut its deficit to 2-1.
In the third inning, Arrington smashed a double to score Carrasquillo to increase the Golden Rams’ edge to 3-1. Arrington then scored on a Tiger error, and ASU held a 4-1 advantage. Stillman answered in the bottom of the inning once again, scoring two runs to bring the score to 4-3.
Albany State got a little breathing room in the top of the fourth. Jonatan Galan nailed a single to left field, and Emmanuel Santos went home for the score. ASU led 5-3 until a Stillman run in the bottom of the sixth inning brought the score back within one at 5-4.
In the top of the seventh inning, Galan scored on an error by the Stillman catcher for a 6-4 lead. The Tigers answered in the same stanza with another run, and the score stood at 6-5.
The eighth inning featured the play of the game. Golden Rams had two outs, but Stillman had a runner at third ready to tie the game. The Tigers’ Pablo De Armas belted a hit over the second base. Ryan Latner threw his body in front of the ball and flipped it to Terrance Worthy to get Albert Rafael out at second base.
That one play sparked Albany State for the final inning. After Worthy hit a double, Carrasquillo followed with a single to send him home. Two batters later, Sable Gilliard belted a two-run double to give his team a 9-5 advantage and provide insurance runs. The Golden Rams recorded three straight outs in the bottom of the stanza to secure the title.
Latner, Santos and Carrasquillo each had two hits for the Golden Rams. Gilliard added two RBIs. Cullen Coulter was the winning pitcher, and Sahir Fersobe was credited with the save.
ASU collected 12 hits with only one error.
Galan was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Outfielder Reise McDaniel and pitcher DeMarkus Green were also named to the all-tournament team.