Alcorn baseball players receive SWAC honors

Published 12:07 am Thursday, March 25, 2010

LORMAN — The Alcorn State baseball team is off to a hot start in SWAC play, and two of the players who have helped the Braves get off their hot start have been honored by the conference.

Infielder Eduardo Gonzalez was named the SWAC Player of the Week and pitcher Cedric Pomerlee was named SWAC Pitcher of the Week after both players helped the Braves sweep Alabama A&M last weekend and then sweep a Tuesday doubleheader against Tougaloo.

Gonzalez was 13 for 25 from the plate on the week, with 12 RBI and nine runs scored. His best game was the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Tougaloo. He was four for five with five RBI in the Braves’ 18-8 win.

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“He has done it real quietly,” Alcorn baseball coach Barret Rey said of Gonzalez’s hot week at the plate. “I actually got onto him about a couple of at bats I felt he gave away.”

But Rey said Gonzalez’s week is an example of why he is one of the Braves’ top hitters.

“He is a good situational hitter,” Rey said. “He hits the ball in situations where we need him to come through. I look for him to continue to do that.”

But while Gonzalez fared the best at the plate for Alcorn this week, the entire team is hitting the ball well, which is the main reason the Braves (11-10) are currently riding a seven-game winning streak with a 5-1 SWAC record.

Since dropping their conference opener to Jackson State, the Braves have averaged 14.5 runs per game during their winning streak.

In their last four games alone, the Braves are averaging over 18 runs per game.

“We are really swinging the bats well,” Rey said. “We’ve got better situational hitting. We’re getting hits early in the count instead of lagging behind and waiting.”

With the way the Braves are swinging the bats, they don’t need to get great pitching, but that is exactly what Pomerlee gave them in his start on Sunday in the series finale against Alabama A&M.

Pomerlee pitched six innings, allowing just one unearned run and struck out 10 batters while walking none in Alcorn’s 20-2 victory.

“It was cold the day he pitched,” Rey said. “I told him if he could overcome the cold, this would be a pitcher’s day, and he did that. He pounded the strike zone with velocity. He has really cut down on his walks and pitched very well.”

Alcorn will try to keep its winning streak going this weekend when the Braves welcome Alabama State to campus for a three game series.

The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at noon, and will finish up the series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.

“We want to get out to a good start against them,” Rey said. “We want to come out, play well defensively, pitch to contact and give ourselves a chance to keep those hot bats swinging. Playing good defense, not giving the opponent extra outs and getting timely hitting has been our motto all year, and that’s what we want to continue this weekend.”