By Travis Jarome, Director of Athletic Strategic Communications Alabama State,
FLORENCE, Ala. | Santiago Garcia hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a tie between Alabama State and North Alabama, and extended the Hornets’ winning streak to eight with a 7-6 victory over North Alabama on Wednesday night.
Alabama State (20-17) and North Alabama battled for eight innings and were tied at 6-all before the Garcia solo shot – his eighth of the year. The Hornets found themselves down 6-4 heading into the seventh before a pair of runs set the stage for the ninth inning. Hunter May doubled home Cristopher DeGuzman to trim the lead to one, before Angel Jimenez tied things up with a sacrifice fly to center to score Garcia.
Garcia finished the night with three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double and home run along with three runs scored. Meanwhile, May finished 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, while the Hornets pounded out nine hits.
Alabama State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Jimenez sacrifice fly before North Alabama tied things up in the bottom half of the inning. The Hornets took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on an infield error and extended the lead to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the fifth on a Garcia double and another Jimenez sacrifice fly. North Alabama set the stage for the seventh inning with a four-run sixth to take the lead.
Ryan Velazquez (1-0), the fourth of five pitchers on the night for Alabama State, picked up the win with 2.1 innings of scoreless work, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Payton Harris picked up his third save of the season, working the final inning and striking out three.
Alabama State returns home for a weekend series against Alabama A&M in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play, their final home series of the season. The series begins Friday at 6 pm and will continue into Saturday and Sunday for the home finale. Due to COVID-19 protocols and socially distant seating, all home Alabama State baseball games are mask mandatory and Player Pass List only. All concessions will remain cashless, and the entire Alabama State University campus is a mask-mandatory campus.