Smith helps Braves earn Friday split with Jackson

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

LORMAN &8212; Alcorn tied the series with the Tigers of Jackson State 1-1 Friday after losing the first game 5-1 and winning a close second game 3-2.

It was Senior Day at The Reservation, and they went out on top playing their last game at home. In the second game senior Scott Spillars could not have gone out better.

The designated hitter came up to the plate in the seventh with bases loaded and one out in a tie ball game. Spillars drove a fly ball to deep right field to score the game winning run.

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&8220;With a runner at third and less than two outs, all I was trying to do was drive the ball deep in the outfield and give Chris Lloyd a chance to tag-up,&8221; Spillars said &8220;I knew that the pitcher had to throw strikes, so I just waited until I got a pitch that I could handle and drove it.&8221;

Alcorn kept the Tigers high powered offence under control with some great defensive plays. Third baseman Chris Walker saved a guaranteed RBI for the Tigers in the second inning after he made an extraordinary diving catch from a Demario Webb line drive.

However, not be out done, Alcorn center fielder Shawn Taylor made a double play when he caught a deep fly ball and threw Shund Russaw out at third to get them out of the third inning.

&8220;I have nothing but good things to say about the defense today,&8221; Alcorn head coach Willie McGowan said.

Alcorn got a great pitching performance from 6-6 Earl Smith against a Tigers team that has four guys hitting over .400. Smith only gave up three hits in six and one third innings pitched.

&8220;I have just been working real hard in practice,&8221; Smith said &8220;trying to get my mechanics right and pump a lot of strikes in there. Also, another adjustment was Coach let me call my own pitches.&8221;

&8220;Earl had a very good game and only gave up three hits,&8221; McGowan said.

The game didn&8217;t go with out controversy and emotion as every Alcorn vs. Jackson game goes. After a controversial call in the second inning at third base where the umpire called Chris Walker out on the tag Alcorn assistant coach Marqus Johnson argued the call and was ejected from the game.

This call came after another controversial decision in the first when Johnson argued a foul ball call down the third base line.

Jackson struck first in the first inning when tigers shortstop Jo Rodriguez hit an RBI double to score Webb. After that, Anton Shinhoster hit a sacrifice fly ball to score Rodriguez, this put the Tigers up 2-0.

Alcorn replied in the first inning after Caleb Betschart smashed an RBI triple to score Pat Long. Alcorn scored their second run when bases were loaded and Bobby Hubbert was hit by the pitch to walk in Betschart which tied the ball game up 2-2.

&8220;We are going to look at the books and try to make the adjustments for tomorrow,&8221; Jacksons head coach Mark Salter said.