Day 3 of the SWAC Tournament is in the book, and now there are only four teams left with the chance to hoist the hardware on Sunday afternoon. Here is what happened in Atlanta on Friday
Game 1: Florida A&M 1, Prairie View A&M 0
Florida A&M defeated Prairie View 1-0 in the best-pitched matchup of the tournament this far.
The only run allowed on the day was an RBI double from Florida A&M third basemen Jared Weber in the bottom of the third.
Outside the Weber double, Prairie View hurler Matthew Krall kept the Rattler bats in check and forced ten runners stranded on the basepath.
FAMU starting pitcher Dallas Tease was tough, retiring ten consecutive Panthers batters at one point and not allowing a run in his seven innings of work. Tease allowed just four hits struck out two, and walked four batters. Zach Morea came out of the Rattler bullpen to complete the shutout, striking out three and walking one in his two innings of action.
Prairie View was eliminated, while FAMU moved on to face Alabama State.
Game 2: Bethune-Cookman 10, Southern 6
Southern took an early 1-0 lead on a Gustavo Nava Snachez RBI single in the top of the first inning. A run on a groundout from O’Neill Burgos in the top of the third inning pushed the Southern lead to 2-0. JJ Rollon’s sacrifice bunt in the top of the fourth pushed the Jaguars’ advantage to 3-0.
BCU finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runs via RBI singles from Ian Escobar and Jeremy Garcia to cut the lead to 3-2.
Hunter Tabb’s two-run single in the top of the seventh took the Southern advantage to 5-2. Consecutive RBI singles from Roberto Moya, Manny Souffrain, and Escobar were the major blows in a five-run inning that put Bethune in front 7-5.
An RBI triple from Jah’li Hendricks in the top of the eighth pulled Southern to within one run at 7-6. The Wildcats answered with four runs of their own, stretching their lead to 10-6, a deficit that the Jaguars were unable to overcome.
Bethune-Cookman advanced to face Grambling in the Friday evening game. For the Jaguars of Southern University, their season has come to an end.
Game 3: Florida A&M 8, Alabama State 6
The Hornets got the scoring going in the bottom of the third inning when Randy Flores scored on a wild pitch. Alabama State loaded the bases later in the inning and was able to bring home another run in the form of Corey King’s sacrifice fly that brought home Ian Matos to make the score 2-0.
FAMU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth but was only able to come away with a single run when Ty Jackson was hit by a pitch that forced home Jordan Brown.
Alabama State answered back in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double from Trent Jamison that made the score 3-1.
The Rattlers would once again be in a bases-loaded situation with no outs, this time in the top of the eighth inning, and unlike earlier in the game, FAMU would be able to cash in. The first run of the inning came on a passed ball that allowed Ty Hanchey to score to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Sebastian Greico’s three-run homer put FAMU out in front for the first time on the day at 5-3. After a double from Will Brown, Adam Haidermota’s single drove Brown in to stretch the FAMU lead to 6-3. Back-to-back base hits set the table for Hanchey, who drove in two more runs with a double that pushed the lead to 8-3.
Just as in their matchup a day prior, Alabama State was in a position where they were down to their last at-bat and needed to pull a comeback. An RBI single from Ian Matos brought the Hornets to within four runs at 8-4. Jack Hay forced a bases-loaded walk that drove in the next run of the inning, making the score 8-5 and chasing FAMU starter Raylan Wagner from the game. In his 8.1 innings of work, Wagner allowed five runs on seven hits. Zach Morea hit the mound for the second time and promptly gave up an RBI single to Ali Lapread that cut the lead down to 8-6. However, Morea would induce a deep flyout to left field to end the game.
The two teams will meet Saturday at noon, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship game.
Game 4: Bethune-Cookman 7, Grambling 3
Keelan Mack hit a two-run homer, his third home run of the tournament, to give Grambling an early 2-0 lead.
Bethune tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, the first on an RBI single from Irvin Escobar and then the next via Colton Olasin’s ground out.
Bryan Piña’s RBI single put B-CU out in front for the first time on the evening of the next inning at 3-2. Grambling responded in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game on Tiger Borom’s RBI single that brought home Keanu Jacobs-Guishard.
B-CU added two runs in the top of the eighth inning via an Escobar RBI single and a fielder’s choice later in the inning to make the score 5-3. The Wildcats expanded their lead to 7-3 in the top of the ninth inning with Olasin’s two-run double.
Bethune Cookman will once again face Grambling Saturday at 3:00 pm EST with a trip to the championship game on the line.
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