Alcorn outlasts Wolfpack

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2001

NATCHEZ – The Alcorn State Braves spotted the Loyola Wolfpack at 4-0 lead, took a nine-run lead and held on for a 14-10 win Wednesday at Braves Field in non-conference college baseball action.

Freshman pitcher Rickey Harris, Jr. picked up the win for Alcorn State, allowing eight runs – four earned – on 11 hits, striking out five and walking four in seven-plus innings. Harris got off to a rough start as Loyola (24-28), of New Orleans, tagged him for four runs and five hits in the top of the first inning, but got out of the jam by forcing Ryan Moity to hit into a 1-2-3 double play.

Alcorn State (22-11) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on Byron Tillman’s two-run single, but Wolfpack starting pitcher Dale Moore got Marcus Clayton to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Braves then took the lead for good when they exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the third on eight hits, the big blow being Jerome Daniels’s bases-clearing double.

&uot;We started off like they (Loyola) were going to run away with it,&uot; said Alcorn State head coach Willie &uot;Rat&uot; McGowan. &uot;Then we came back and ran away.&uot;

Alcorn State then scored three more times in the bottom of the fourth on Clayton’s two-run double and Janone Watts’s RBIs single for what seemed to be a comfortable 13-4 lead as they chased Moore out of the game.

Moore was the losing pitcher for Loyola, allowing 12 earned runs on 17 hits while striking out only two.

Loyola, however, wouldn’t go away quietly.

The Wolfpack scored twice in the top of the seventh and four times in the top of the eighth – three on Braves errors – that cut the lead to 13-10.

&uot;In the seventh and eighth, we let ’em back in the ball game on walks and errors,&uot; McGowan said. &uot;We didn’t have that killer instinct and we didn’t put them away. After that, we came back and settled down defensively.&uot;

Alcorn State got an insurance run when Tillman walked with the bases loaded to score James Neely.

Alcorn State next plays a doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State University at Vicksburg High School beginning at 1 p.m. today.