The Alabama A&M Bulldogs baseball team captured their first Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division win by stunning Mississippi Valley State University 7-6 on Sunday afternoon.
A&M (8-25, 4-11 SWAC) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when Kency Duarte sent a shot to right centerfield to score all three runners on base. The Delta Devils's throw into home to try and get an out went opposite the catcher which allowed Duarte to score the fifth run.
After starting pitcher Manny Lora went five innings, James Brown came in relief. Valley would then post a run in the sixth, four in the seventh and one in the top of the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead. Brown was then pulled and replaced with Eric Brandon Jr. who held the Delta Devils to a hit and a run in two innings of work.
When the bottom of the ninth came around, with Valley up by one, the first batter Joseph Bryant singled to right field. Bryant then advanced to second when Chris Thomas hit into the 4-3 out. Bryant then stole third base for his second of the year. With a 1-2 count Deon Hall connected on a shot to right center for his first homerun and walk-off of his career.
"I got up to the plate and thought I have to do what needs to be done," said Hall. "I might have hit the game winning homerun but it was not just me. All the little things my teammates did throughout the game made the difference."
"The guys pick each other up every day and work hard", said first-year head coach Ed McCann. The guys are buying into what we're telling them and their getting better. I have never been as proud as I am for these young men."
Eric Brandon picked up his second win of the season while Norbert Riggins went 2 for 3 with a run and a RBI. Hall finished the game 2 for 4 with two runs and two runs batted in.
The Bulldogs will travel to Alcorn State, Mississippi for their next contest. A&M will tangle with the Braves of Alcorn State on Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.