NEW ORLEANS, La. – Alabama State held on for the 5-4 win Wednesday over Prairie View A&M to move into the winner’s bracket of the Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball tournament.
Three Hornets finished with multi-hit days. PJ Biocic, Waldyvan Estrada, and Yamil Pagan earned two hits each. Biocic and Pagan also recorded runs.
SWAC Pitcher of the Year Joseph Camacho went 7.2 innings, striking out a game-high four batters to remain flawless on the year at 12-0. Michael Tellado closed out the contest to earn his first save of the year.
Alabama State held onto the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Ray Hernandez cleared the bases with a triple to left center.
He was then driven home by Marcus Swint’s single to left. Alberto Aveytia caught Biocic looking for the third out to end the inning.
The Panthers remained scoreless through six. In the top of the seventh with the bases loaded, Joseph Mack hit a one out single up the middle on a 1-0 count to bring two runs around. Anthony Fernandez then sent a deep ball to center that allowed another run across on the sacrifice fly. Camacho forced the next batter to pop out, ending the rally.
Alabama State put a small cushion on their lead in the seventh. Biocic and Estrada drove two singles up the middle and Pagan singled through the left side to bring Estrada across with two outs on the board.
Prairie View responded in the top of the eighth with a run of its own to pull within one, 5-4. The Panthers then kept ASU off the board in the bottom of the inning to setup the a potential comeback.
Tellado entered for the Hornets in the top of the ninth with bases loaded and one out. He struck out Grant Dougherty swinging on a 2-2 pitch and setup to take on Cody Den Beste.
The center fielder took the first pitch for a ball before falling behind in the count 1-2. He then fouled off a low pitch and Tellado put ball two in opposite box.
Den Beste took another pitch outside to fill the count and put the crowd on its feet. He swung hard on the low delivery from Tellado and missed, ending the game with the tying run on third.
ASU will take on Southern University at 3 pm. on Thursday. Prairie View faces Jackson State at 9 a.m. in the loser’s bracket.