A&M baseball splits with ASU

The Alabama A&M Bulldogs defeated the Alabama State University Hornets 7-6 in their first contest of the three-game SWAC Eastern Division series.

The Bulldogs starting pitcher Manny Lora went seven innings and allowed seven hits and five runs, four earned.  Lora kept the game close leaving at the end of the seventh inning with seven strikeouts.

Going into the bottom of the eighth and down by one, the Maroon and White's Eric Brandon reached first base off of a fielding error by the Hornets third basemen.  The Bulldogs catcher, Chris Thomas, then walked.  With runners on first and second with one out, third basemen James Brown grounded out advancing the runners to second and third.  The shortstop Lamar Bridges then singled to third base scoring Thomas and Brandon to put the Bulldogs up by one 7-6.  Sanchez Tucker then grounded out to third base and ended a two run, one hit, one error inning for A&M.

State then recorded two straight outs before Drew Quinney was hit by the pitch. Quinney stole second then ASU's left fielder flied out to end game one and give A&M there fourth win of the year and second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference east.

Juan Lopez led the home team going 3 for 4 with a run and two RBI's.  Bridges finished 2 for 4 with a run and a run batted in.  A&M posted double digit hits for the sixth time this season with 11.

In game two the Hornets took control and never relinquished it scoring 11 runs over seven innings.  Alabama State's starting pitcher Anthony Ricciardi pitched a complete game striking out 11.  Ricciardi posted 24 outs off of 26 batters faced to give ASU (8-13, 2-8 SWAC) there second conference win.

A&M's Kency Duarte and Juan Lopez each totaled two hits.

Game three of the series begins at 1 p.m.  The winner of Sunday's, April 3, contest will move into the fourth place in the eastern division.  The top four teams from each division advance to the league's post season tournament.