Day 3 of the SWAC tournament is in the book and now only four teams are left with a chance to hoist the hardware on Sunday afternoon. Here’s 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 to date.
The lone run allowed on the day was an RBI double by Florida A&M third baseman Jared Weber in the bottom of the third.
Outside of the Weber double, Prairie View pitcher Matthew Krall controlled the Rattler bats and forced ten runners to strand on base.
FAMU starting pitcher Dallas Tease was tough, at one point retiring ten consecutive Panthers batters and not allowing a run in his seven innings of work. Tease gave up only four hits, struckout two batters 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.
Prairie View was eliminated, while FAMU took on Alabama State.
Game 2: Bethune-Cookman 10, South 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 by 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 inning pushed the Jaguars’ lead to 3-0.
BCU finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runs on RBI singles by Ian Escobar and Jeremy Garcia to narrow the lead to 3-2.
Hunter Tabb’s two-run single in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Southern lead to 5-2. Consecutive RBI singles by Roberto Moya, Manny Souffrain and Escobar were the big hits in a five-run inning that gave Bethune a 7-5 lead.
An RBI triple by Jah’li Hendricks in the top of the eighth brought Southern within one run, 7-6. The Wildcats answered with four runs of their own, extending their lead to 10-6, a deficit the Jaguars were unable to bridge.
Bethune-Cookman advanced to Grambling in the Friday night game. The season has come to an end for the Southern University Jaguars.
Game 3: Florida A&M 8, Alabama State 6
The Hornets got 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 in another run in the form of Corey King’s sacrifice fly that brought home Ian Matos to make it 2-0.
FAMU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth, but could only get 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 by Trent Jamison that made it 3-1.
The Rattlers would again find themselves in a basesloaded situation with no outs, this time in the top of the eighth inning, and unlike earlier in the game, FAMU would be able to give in. passed ball that allowed Ty Hanchey to score and narrow the deficit to 3-2.
Sebastian Greico’s three-run homer put FAMU up 5-3 for the first time of the day. After a double by Will Brown, Adam Haidermota’s single propelled Brown in to extend the FAMU lead to 6-3. Back-to-back singles set the table for Hanchey, who batted in two more runs with a double that lifted the lead to 8-3.
As in their matchup the day before, Alabama State found themselves in a position where they faced their final at bat and needed to make a comeback. An RBI single by Ian Matos brought the Hornets within four runs at 8-4. Jack Hay forced a basesloaded walk that led to the next run of the inning, making it 8–5 and knocking FAMU starter Raylan Wagner out of the game. In his 8.1 innings work, Wagner allowed five runs on seven hits. Zach Morea came on for the second time and promptly gave up an RBI-single to Ali Lapread that narrowed the lead to 8-6. However, Morea would make a deep fly ball to left field to end the game.
The two teams will meet at noon on Saturday, 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 by Irvin Escobar and the next on Colton Olasin’s ground out.
Bryan Piña’s RBI single put B-CU ahead for the first time on the night of the next inning at 3-2. Grambling reacted in the bottom of the inning to tie 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 on an Escobar RBI single and a fielder’s choice later in the inning to make it 5-3. The Wildcats extended their lead to 7-3 in the top of the ninth inning with Olasin’s two-run double.
Bethune Cookman faces Grambling again Saturday at 3PM EST with a trip to the championship game on the line.