2023 baseball

SWAC baseball: Bethune-Cookman moves on to semis

Bethune-Cookman took care of business against Grambling State as it continues to pursue its first SWAC baseball title.

ATLANTA, Ga. – Irvin Escobar’s RBI single to left in the top of the eighth inning that chased home Robert Moya was the springboard for No. 2 seed (East) Bethune-Cookman’s 7-3 win over No. 1 seed (West) Grambling State in the final quarterfinals game of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at Russ Chandler Field.

Bethune-Cookman widened its margin when Colton Olasin drove in Moya and Malik Stephens in the ninth inning. 

 This victory by the Wildcats set up a rematch versus the Tigers in the semifinals on Saturday, May 27 at 3 p.m. B-CU remains alive in the tournament after clinching two wins on Friday. 

“You talk about the resiliency of this group. We give up a 2-run bomb to one of their hottest hitters in (Keylon) Mack. Louis Lipthatt then settled in. He gave us an opportunity and we kept grinding out at-bats,” B-CU baseball head coach Jonathan Hernandez said. 

“We’re still alive for our first SWAC championship in school history. We have to be tough mentally and check our egos at the door.” 

After going down 2-0 in the first, B-CU added more on the scoreboard and drew even with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. The game was again tied at 3-3 after both teams scored in the fifth.

SWAC Baseball, Bethune-Cookman
(Photo by Reily Rogers)

B-CU totaled 11 hits in the contest. Four Wildcats had multiple numbers – Boris Pena (2 for 5), Manny Souffrain (2 for 3), Escobar (2 for 5) and Moya (2 for 3). 

Louis Lipthratt was charged with a no-decision for the Wildcats. He pitched six innings and had five strikeouts. 

Derrius York earned the win in relief. York tossed three scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.

This setback was the first loss for Grambling State in the tournament. Previous victories for the Tigers were against Jackson State (8-7) and Southern (7-3).

Reliever Javier Martinez struggled on the hill as the losing pitcher. He gave up two runs in two-and-two-thirds innings. 

SWAC baseball: Bethune-Cookman moves on to semis
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