Sunday, February 22, 2009

Freshman lefty carries Bethune-Cookman past Southern University

Bethune - Cookman head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez

Simpson handles first college start well

COMPTON, Calif. -- Making your first collegiate start as a freshman pitcher is never an easy task. And when you're making that start more than 2,500 miles away from your school, in a high-profile tournament at MLB's Urban Youth Academy, it doesn't get any easier. But Bethune-Cookman left-hander Ali Simpson handled the pressure well, tossing 6 2/3 quality innings to lead the Wildcats to a 10-4 win over Southern University on Sunday in the final game of the second annual Urban Invitational at the Academy.

"He was definitely good today, and he gave us the edge," Bethune-Cookman head coach Mervyl Melendez. "He did a good job of keeping them off balance, and it gives some security to our hitters, because they know they don't have to do it all themselves." Simpson was admittedly a little bit nervous before his start, and it showed early, as he allowed the first three runners to reach base before Melendez came to the mound and talked to him.

"Coach calmed me down a little bit," Simpson said. "He told me it was the same game I've been playing all my life." Melendez's advice worked, as Simpson settled down and retired the next three batters. It gave him confidence, and he went on to allow just three runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out nine


VIDEO • Highlights: San Diego 9, B-CU 6
VIDEO • Highlights: Southern 4, SDSU 2

Tournament Schedule/Results
2/20: San Diego State 6, Bethune-Cookman 3
Recap Box score Play-by-Play

2/20: San Diego 6, Southern 4
Box Score

2/21, San Diego 9, Bethune-Cookman 6
Box Score

2/21, Southern 4, San Diego State 2
Recap Box score Play-by-Play

2/22, Southern 4, Bethune-Cookman 10
Box Score B-CU 3 Game Cumulative Stats (1-2)

2/22, SDSU 3, USD (at USD) 0
Box score Play-by-Play

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