The Alcorn State Braves won their tenth straight game behind the power pitching of senior Cole Vicars, beating Alabama State 5-1 Sunday at Alcorn State, Mississippi.
The Braves pushed their overall record to 22-20 on the season and are 19-4 in the SWAC East. ASU clinched their first Eastern Division crown since 2002 and fifth overall on Saturday by taking a doubleheader from the Hornets 16-11 and 17-6.
The Hornets, battling with Alabama A&M for the fourth and last slot to compete in the SWAC tournament starting May the 18th in Shreveport, Louisiana; fell to 12-24 overall and 5-16 in the East.
ASU, who won all six games played against the Hornets this season, scored four runs in the fourth inning and Vicars' superb pitching did the rest. Senior Kenny Rowan of Jackson singled in Jann Butler, who had walked, to start the scoring.
Angel Rosa of Puerto Rico then doubled in Eduardo Gonzalez who had doubled in Rowan. After a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Piper of Lake Charles, Jonathan Dorsey of Chicago singled to score Rosa with the fourth run of the inning. The Braves added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Piper, who led off with a single, stole second and was sacrificed to third by Dorsey, scored on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Hollins.
The Hornets scored their only unearned run off of Vicars in the eighth when pinch runner Adrian Snell scored on a Brave fielding error. With two on and no outs, Vicars turned up the velocity on his pitches and retired the next three batters to end the inning with no further damage.
Vicars upped his overall record to 4-1 while striking out seven. Losing pitcher Curtis Young, who left in the fourth due to an injury, absorbed the loss and fell to 1-3 overall.
It was Senior Day for the East Division champs and Vickers; pitcher Brent Blaum of Coral Gables, Florida; Karlos Ferbos of Natchez; Brandon Hollins of Yazoo City; Kilby Perdomo of Santo Domingo and Rowan all were honored and given plaques in a ceremony before the game with their parents in attendance. The Braves face a tough Arizona University team Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Tucson, Arizona. “We want to keep ourselves ready for the SWAC Tournament,” explained Coach Barrett Rey.
The win over the Hornets was the Braves last home game of the season where they finished with 12 wins against only four losses.