By Jordan Benson, Alabama State Assistant Director of Athletic Strategic Communications
MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Alabama State pounded out 11 hits including a trio of home runs en route to a season-high for runs scored in the 17-3 win over rival Alabama A&M at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex on Friday afternoon.
After starter Breon Pooler struck out the side in the top of the first, Alabama State got on the board early after loading the bases and scoring their first run on a sacrifice fly from Santiago Garcia and another on a single to left field from Hunter May.
The Hornets scored their third run after a bases loaded walk was drawn by Dilan Espinal and added three more runs later in the inning after Jayden Sloan doubled to left to clear the bases to close out the six run first inning.
Alabama A&M responded with a run in the second after getting two hits in the inning, however Pooler earned three more strikeouts to end the top of the frame.
Alabama State added two more runs in the third to go up 8-1, the first on a sacrifice fly from Sloan and the second on a sacrifice from Jabronski Williams to score Gardner. After a leadoff walk from Cristopher DeGuzman in the fourth, Garcia and May hit back-to-back homers both to left field to gain a double figure lead, and was followed two batters later by another homer, this time from AJ Gardner also to left to put the Hornets up 12-1.
The scoring was not done in the inning, as Alabama State gained two more runs without earning a hit, the first from a two out bases loaded walk and the second on a passed ball. May drove in the final two runs of the inning with another single, making the score 16-1 after four.
The Bulldogs added two runs after a hit and error in the top of the fifth, however Gardner doubled to begin the bottom half of the inning and later scored on a groundout from Jayden Sloan.
Both Gardner and May recorded three hits on the day, with May also being responsible for four RBI and two runs scored, while Gardner scored four times.
Pooler (5-2) picked up the win for the Hornets, working 5.0 innings and giving up two earned runs off five hits to go along with eight strikeouts. Alexander Castro and Trevor Jurjevich both pitched an inning in relief, with neither giving up runs.