For the first time since 2011 and the second time in program history, an HBCU national championship will reside in Jacksonville, Florida as Edward Waters defeated Kentucky State, 3-2 in the championship game of the Tyson Foods Black College World Series at Riverwalk Stadium on Saturday
Edward Waters took an early lead in the top of the second inning on an RBI single from John Nobles and a triple by Keilin Washington to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Thorobreds cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
The two teams went scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Nelsido Nunez came through an RBI single to provide what would later turn out to be an important insurance run.
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An RBI bunt single from KSU in the bottom of the sixth inning would once again cut the Edward Waters lead back down to one at 3-2.
The Tigers pitching a defense would carry them through, working out of several critical jams down the stretch of the game. Most notable in the bottom half of the eighth inning, when the Thorobreds had bases loaded with just one out. The threat was shut down on the strength of a 6-3 double play to preserve the EWU lead at 3-2.
Freshman closer Caden Hutchinson was called upon to close things out for the Tigers and clinch the championship. Hutchinson was able to induce three consecutive flyball outs, including the final one, which settled into the waiting glove of Washington to send the Tigers into a frenzy and solidify its claim as the best HBCU baseball team in the country.
In his final appearance for Edward Waters in his career, Keilin Washington, who was named the Tyson Foods Black College World Series Most Outstanding Player, led EWU offensively, going 1-for-3 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. Nelsido Nunez, Anthony Roman, Adrian Laro, and John Nobles earned the remaining four hits for the Tigers in the contest.
Sophomore pitcher Austin James earned the victory for the Tigers on the mound, going five innings, allowing just one earned run, and six strikeouts, while Caden Hutchinson earned the save for EWU.
Edward Waters also clinched its first winning season in four years, wrapping up its championship year with a 28-27 overall record. The Tigers conclude their stint as members of the NAIA and will look forward to competing under the NCAA Division II banner as members of the SIAC.
Courtesy: Edward Waters Athletics
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