Courtesy: Bethune-Cookman Athletics
Daytona Beach, Fla. – The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats just do not quit, falling behind early and coming back yet again to remain undefeated in SWAC play with an 8-5 victory over Alabama State, Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
How It Happened
Alabama State (11-12, 3-2 SWAC) put four runs on the board in the third to take an early 4-0 lead three hits and an error.
The Wildcats (10-12, 5-0 SWAC) did not stay down for long, putting up a four-spot of their own only an inning later. Matthew Garcia and Christopher Patterson opened the inning with singles. Irvin Escobar drove in Garcia with another single into center field.
After two Wildcat outs, Brin Perez launched a ball deep beyond the left field wall, scoring Manny Souffrain and Escobar to tie things at 4-4.
The Wildcats took the lead in the fifth on a string of hits that started with a leadoff single from Colton Olasin. Olasin came around to score on an infield single from Patterson. Escobar came through with his second RBI single of the night to score Patterson and put the Wildcats in front, 6-4.
Alabama State trimmed the lead to one in the seventh on a one-out triple and a groundout. The Hornets nearly tied things up in the eighth after a leadoff hit batter who advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt, but Dale Michaud struck out two to keep the Wildcats in front.
B-CU ended all hopes of an Alabama State comeback in the bottom of the eighth when Perez added two more runs on a double to left center, making it 8-5, Wildcats.
“These guys don’t quit,” Wildcats head coach Jonathan Hernandez repeated after the game. “They’re a resilient group. Whether we’re down early or late, or we blow a lead – these guys just trust what we’re doing. They’re winning pitch by pitch. I’m very proud of these guys tonight.”
Santos got the win. He pitched six innings. Allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits, five walks, and nine strikeouts.
Michaud provided another solid appearance out of the pen. He went two innings, allowing a hit and one run with a walk and two strikeouts. Asghar got the save, allowing one hit with two strikeouts in a clean ninth inning.
“Nolan did well. He hunkered down and gave us a shot,” Hernandez said. “We needed somebody to step up tonight and Dale and Asghar did that for us.”
Brian Perez carried the weight at the plate for Bethune-Cookman. He finished 2-4 with a run and five RBI.
“We’ve definitely struggled hitting as a team,” Hernandez said. “Brian is a guy that has a track record of hitting in his two junior college stops. That’s a guy that you don’t lose confidence in. He works and prepares and he got rewarded tonight with five RBI.”
- Perez’s five RBI were the most by a Wildcat in a game this season
- Eight RBI were the most by the team as a whole this season.
- Perez’s homer was the seventh by a B-CU batter this season.
- B-CU pitchers stranded 12 Hornets on the bases.
- 13 strikeouts by B-CU pitchers ties a season-high.
The Wildcats will look to secure the series sweep with a win in the finale tomorrow at 1 p.m.