Tigers pound Alcorn for sweep

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2003

LORMAN &045; Blowing a seven-run lead before getting beat by eight is the perfect way to send somebody into a tailspin.

The Alcorn State Braves went through six relievers before dropping an 18-10 decision in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader to get swept by Jackson State.

The Tigers won the first game 4-2, and umpires called the second game in the top of seventh due to darkness.

Email newsletter signup

The losses dropped the Braves out of first place, but no one is dragging a lip. The two teams hook up for another doubleheader at 1 p.m. today in Jackson, and another four-game set awaits near the end of the regular season.

&uot;We just didn’t play well today,&uot; Alcorn head coach Willie &uot;Rat&uot; McGowan said. &uot;They caught us at a good time, but it’s not over. We’ve got six ball games left with Jackson. Last year they won the first two here, and we won all other six. It’s not the end of the world. We’ll go up there tomorrow, and I guarantee you we’ll be ready.&uot;

The Braves appeared ready in the second game and were on the verge of a split after jumping out to an 8-1 lead in the fourth inning.

That’s when the bottom fell out. Jackson State scored eight in the fourth, chased starter Courtney Dunn out of the game and took advantage of ineffective relievers behind him.

&uot;We just didn’t finish it,&uot; said left fielder Edrick Patton, a Natchez native who had three hits in four at-bats. &uot;We came out hot and couldn’t finish it. Walks hurt us. Tomorrow we’ll have to come out, play hard, lay it all on the line and play like it’s the last game of the season. We’re not down on ourselves. Tomorrow’s games are really important.&uot;

The Tigers (12-7, 9-5) had just one run in the first four innings &045; a solo homer from Rafael Johnson &045; before piling up eight runs in the fifth to get rolling at the plate.

They had put five runners across in the seventh with one out when umpires called the game. Alcorn cut the lead to 13-10 heading into the top half, but Robert Felton had the first big blow in the seventh with a two-run single for a 15-10 lead. Kenji Williams tripled home Felton, and Chris Outlaw singled home Williams for the 17-10 lead.

Outlaw scored on an error before the game was called.

&uot;We’re just now getting an opportunity to play games regularly,&uot; JSU head coach Mark Salter said. &uot;We were rained out the whole month of February. We beat a very good Alcorn team today. But there’s no rest for the weary. We have to go home and play them again.&uot;

Tim Galloway was on the mound when the game was called as the seventh pitcher of the game and fourth of the inning for the Braves. Andre Hansbora and Matt Richter came in relief of freshman left-hander Arthur Canaii, who was hoping to shut the door after the Braves scored two in the fifth to cut it to 13-10.

Canaii started to do that by getting Bryant Lange for the first out and Anton Shinhoster to ground weakly back to the mound. But Canaii threw wildly to first after Shinhoster was slow to get out of the box, and Trey White scored on the play while Shinhoster went to second.

Canaii, a native of the Virgin Islands, then exited the game for Richter.

&uot;We had that momentum and was coming back into the ball game, and he threw the ball over the first baseman’s head,&uot; McGowan said. &uot;That changed everything. If you play freshmen, you can expect that. How many freshmen you play &045; that’s how many games you’re going to lose. But we’ll play them.&uot;

Alcorn scored five runs in the third and three in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. Freshman Tory Bates singled in two in third, and errors got the first two runs home in the fourth.

The Tigers then finally got to Dunn, who allowed three hits and walked none in the first four innings. Shinhoster doubled in two runs before the Tigers went through the entire lineup without a batter being retired.

Derian Dotson came after Shinhoster’s double and walked three straight batters

&045; two of which forced in a run &045; before being pulled for freshman Rick McKnight.

Chris Outlaw’s infield single scored Ken Whiteside to tie the game at 8-8, and Anthony Webb later walked to force in another run to give Jackson a 9-8 lead.