Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JSU Lady Tigers Tabbed to Face No. 2 Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- After advancing to the final round of the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference, Jackson State University received an automatic bid to face No. 2 Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament by default. The 2014 SWAC Women's Tennis Champions, Southern University could not participate in the tournament due to ineligibility.

JSU (10-17) is making its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2009 and will face UA for the first time in program history. The Lady Tigers are the automatic qualifier out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. JSU will head into the tournament first in SWAC play with an 8-1 record.

Alabama, hosting for the third-straight year and third overall, will take on the Lady Tigers in its first-round match up on Friday, May 9, at 4 p.m. CT. That match will be preceded by the Arizona State/Princeton match that is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT. The winners of both matches will then meet in the second round on Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m. CT.

NCAA Tournament Bracket


LSU rallies to defeat Alcorn State

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – A two-out, three-run home run by junior Conner Hale in the bottom of the eighth inning elevated sixth-ranked LSU (34-11-1) to a 9-7 win over Alcorn State (8-37) Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The Tigers travel to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. All three games of the series will be televised. Game 1 will be on CBS Sports Network, Game 2 will be on ESPN2 at 12 p.m., and Game 3 will be on ESPNU at 1 p.m.

LSU, which faced deficits of 5-0 and 6-1 during Tuesday’s game versus Alcorn State, recorded its biggest comeback victory since April 7, 2012, when the Tigers also erased a five-run deficit at Florida.

“Let me say first of all that Alcorn State played a tremendous game; we couldn’t get their hitters out and they made some unbelievable defensive plays,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "(Alcorn State) Coach (Barret) Rey and his players deserve a lot of credit because they played their hearts out, and the played extremely well."


Anderson retains Fuller on Mizzou staff

COLUMBIA, Missouri  --  New Missouri basketball coach Kim Anderson has already lured in his first big recruit. Tim Fuller, Mizzou’s associate head coach the last three seasons and the program’s top recruiter, has agreed to work on Anderson’s staff.

"I'd like to welcome Tim Fuller as the first member of our coaching staff here at Missouri and applaud how he led this program and kept Mizzou moving forward through practices and recruiting over the last couple weeks," Anderson said in a prepared statement. "Tim has displayed incredible character and loyalty to Mizzou during the transition and demonstrated from our first meeting his commitment and passion for our student-athletes and Mizzou Basketball. I look forward to working closely with Tim as we move our program forward and am excited about the future of Tiger Basketball."

Fuller was a candidate for the head coaching job at Florida A&M and had several recent discussions with FAMU athletics director Kellen Winslow, the former Mizzou star tight end.


Lawmakers find compromise on FAMU-FSU engineering school

TALLAHASSEE, Florida --  The biggest budget controversy in higher education this session was the Senate's proposed split of the engineering school shared by Florida A&M University and Florida State University.

The House refused to approve $13 million for a separate engineering school at FSU, which Sen. John Thrasher successfully inserted into the budget.

The compromise approved this week is being applauded by the FAMU community: $500,000 for an independent study of the program and agreeing that the Board of Governors, not the Legislature, will have the final say on any changes.

The board will have the option of keeping the status quo or creating engineering programs at each school.


Alabama State enter NCAA Women’s Golf Regionals

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana --  After winning a consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference women's golf title, Alabama State University will make its third postseason appearance in four seasons.

The Lady Hornets are included in a field of 378 participants after the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee announced the teams and individuals selected to participate in the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regionals.

ASU will play in the East regional will be played at SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Florida and will be hosted by Florida State from May 8-10. Conference automatic qualifiers are indicated in parenthesis next to the institution. The Lady Hornets set a scoring record on the course earlier this year.
Three regional tournaments will be conducted May 8-10 to determine the championships field. Regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition, and all national championships policies apply.

More than 350 participants have been selected for regional competition. Among these players, 126 will advance to the championships finals. Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each regional.

The championships finals will be held May 20-23 at Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma and will be co-hosted by Tulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.

East Regional
1. Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
2. South Carolina
3. Stanford (Pac-12)
4. Vanderbilt (Southeastern Conference)
5. Pepperdine (West Coast Conference)
6. UCF
7. Virginia
8. Auburn
9. NC State
10. Florida State
11. Kentucky
12. Tulane (Conference USA)
13. Louisville (American Athletic Conference)
14. Baylor
15. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
16. Georgia
17. Campbell (Big South)
18. East Carolina
19. Texas State
20. College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
21. Troy (Sun Belt)
22. Murray State (Ohio Valley)
23. Seton Hall (Big East )
24. Alabama State (Southwestern Athletic Conference)

TSU's Edwards, Murphy Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society

Courtesy Tennessee State University Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tennessee   -- Tennessee State lineman Kadeem Edwards and Michael Murphy were named to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) 2014 Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.

A total of 838 players from 267 schools qualified for membership in the society's eighth year, setting a new record for the number of members in the history of the program, which began in 2007.
Edwards, who was also named First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference, started 13 games for the Tigers and blocked for Tim Broughton who rushed for 1,146 yards (25th-most nationally) and six touchdowns. The senior protected a quarterback duo that combined for 26 passes touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Murphy appeared in all 14 contests for TSU last season, notching 21 tackles – 3.5 for loss. The senior also forced and recovered a fumble while playing a pivotal role in the nation’s sixth-best defense.
"We continue to raise the bar each year for the number of student-athletes who qualify for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role in highlighting that college football players clearly play a leadership role in the classroom as well as on the playing field. We congratulate each of these young men for their commitment to excellence."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide.
College       Inductee
Alabama State University Bobby Wenzig
Benedict College (S.C.) Martin Epps
Delaware State University Marco Kano
Edward Waters College (Fla.) Darrien Carmichael
Edward Waters College (Fla.) Jerry Martin
North Carolina Central University Jordan Reid
Tennessee State University Kadeem Edwards
Tennessee State University Michael Murphy

Back on top: Xavier Gold Nuggets No. 1 in NAIA coaches poll

The Gold Nuggets earn their fourth all-time No. 1 ranking and first of 2014
after receiving 12 first-place votes and 343 total points.
NEW ORLEANS -- For the second consecutive season, Xavier University of Louisiana has ascended to No. 1 in the NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

The Gold Nuggets (15-6) collected 12-of-13 first-place votes Tuesday and swapped places with Georgia Gwinnett, which dropped to second. Xavier defeated Georgia Gwinnett 5-3 on Saturday in the championship of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament at XU.

On April 16, 2013, the Gold Nuggets became the first XU team in any sport to reach No. 1 in an NAIA coaches poll. They were No. 1 for three consecutive polls before losing to William Carey in the semifinals of the NAIA National Championship, then falling to No. 3 in the postseason poll.

This season the Gold Nuggets were third in the preseason, dropped to sixth in the first regular-season poll but climbed to No. 2 on March 18 after a 5-4 victory at then-No. 1 and three-time defending NAIA champion Auburn Montgomery. Xavier was No. 2 for three consecutive polls before Tuesday's announcement.

It's the Gold Nuggets' 14th consecutive top-10 appearance and their fifth consecutive appearance in the top five.

"It's nice to be No. 1," XU coach Alan Green said, "but we were in the same position last year and didn't finish on top. Our goal now is to refocus and try to come home with a national championship. We know if we don't play our best, anyone in the top five can beat us."

Xavier's next dual will start at 9 a.m. on May 14 in the second round of the national tournament at Copeland-Cox Mobile Tennis Center at Mobile, Ala. The NAIA will announce the 24-team field May 5, and pairings will be revealed May 6.

The top 25:

1. Xavier
2. Georgia Gwinnett
3. Lindsey Wilson
4. Auburn Montgomery
5. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
6. Brenau
7. SCAD Savannah
8. Vanguard
9. Northwood (Fla.)
10. Oklahoma Baptist
11. Westmont
12. Graceland
13. Coastal Georgia
14. Milligan
15. Concordia (Calif.)
16. Davenport
17. Lewis-Clark State
18. Indiana Wesleyan
19. Cardinal Stritch
20. Northwestrrn Ohio
21. Marian (Ind.)
22. (tie) St. Thomas (Fla.)
22. (tie) Olivet Nazarene
24. Campbellsville
25. McPherson

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Benedict To Host South Carolina State In 2014 Season Opener

COLUMBIA, South Carolina  -- Benedict College will host South Carolina State University at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium in their football rivalry on August 30, Benedict Athletic Director Willie Washington announced Tuesday.

Benedict received confirmation from the NCAA granting a waiver to allow the Tigers to open the 2014 season on Aug. 30, five days prior to the official start of competition for Division II schools.

The two football-playing HBCU colleges in South Carolina played last year in the University of South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium before an announced crowd of 15,037.

Benedict and S.C. State last met in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium in 2010 before an overflow crowd of 13,349.

Benedict and South Carolina State have met 52 times since their first meeting in 1927. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 27-10-15. Benedict's last win in the series came in 1961, a 6-0 victory.

Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Benedict College ticket office at 803-705-4501.


XU Gold Rush climb one place to No. 9 in NAIA poll

NEW ORLEANS -- Xavier University of Louisiana moved from 10th to ninth Tuesday in the NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll and extended its streak of top-10 appearances.

It's the 27th consecutive time that the Gold Rush (11-11) have been in the top 10 and the 30th time in the last 31 polls. The XU men have 57 consecutive top-25 appearances dating to April 4, 2007.

Xavier lost 5-1 Saturday at home to third-ranked Georgia Gwinnett in the championship of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament. Gold Rush highlights since the previous poll include a 5-4 victory against the University of New Orleans -- the third straight year that the Rush beat the Privateers -- and a 5-0 decision over No. 25 Oklahoma Baptist in the semifinals of the unaffiliated group tournament.

The Gold Rush hope to receive an at-large bid to the NAIA National Championship, which will begin May 13 in Mobile, Ala. The 24-team men's field will be announced May 5, with pairings to be revealed the following day.

Defending champion Embry-Riddle (Fla.) is No. 1 for the seventh time in as many polls this season.

The top 25:

1. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
2. Auburn Montgomery
3. Georgia Gwinnett
4. Vanguard
5. Lindsey Wilson
6. (tie) Cumberland
6. (tie) Westmont
8. Belhaven
9. Xavier
10. Bethany (Kan.)
11. Concordia (Calif.)
12. Northwestern Ohio
13. Aquinas
14. (tie) Graceland
14. (tie) William Carey
16. Coastal Georgua
17. Bethel (Tenn.)
18. Webber International
19. Davenport
20. Warner
21. Lewis-Clark State
22. Pikeville
23. Olivet Nazarene
24. Northwood (Fla.)
25. Oklahoma Baptist

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MVSU baseball signs Juan Casanova and Renny Tolentino

ITTA BENA, Mississippi  --  Mississippi Valley State head baseball coach Doug Shanks has announced the signing of Homestead High School's Juan Casanova.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound outfielder finished the 2014 season with a .370 batting average and 10 RBIs for the Broncos. Casanova also spent time as a pitcher. Last season, he went 4-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 36 innings pitched. Over the last two seasons, he successfully stole base 22 out of 25 attempts. As a junior, Casanova was selected to the Miami-Dade County All-District Team as a utility player.  To see Casanova's full statistics, click here.

He becomes to second signee from Florida for the Delta Devils.

Earlier, MVSU signed Renny Tolentino from St. Brendan Catholic High School (Miami, Fla.), a pitcher.   He will join the Delta Devils next season.

Tolentino recently led Mater Academy East to the Regional Semifinals and was named Second Team All-County and District Player of the Year. The senior pitcher hit .532 and posted a 5-1 record with 30 strikeouts and 1.15 ERA on the mound for the Class 2A Scorpions last season.


Alabama State ideal spot for Montgomery native Whitlow

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Jalen Whitlow wants to continue his college career as a quarterback, not a receiver.

What better place to do so than at his hometown school -- Alabama State.

Coming out of spring practice, the Hornets still weren't settled at quarterback. Daniel Duhart threw for 1,903 yards, 18 touchdowns and just eight interceptions as a starter last season. Solid numbers, but should have posted even better numbers because he had 1,000-yard rusher in the backfield in Isaiah Crowell.

Quinteris Toppings saw action last season as true freshman as he threw for 157 yards, a touchdown and interception in a high-scoring 48-42 win against Prairie View.


Nedra Brown decides to step out of the coaching realm

Coach Nedra Brown
NORMAL, Alabama - Alabama A&M volleyball coach Nedra Brown has resigned as the head coach.

She has decided to move out of coaching and accepted the Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations/Senior Women's Administrator position at Jackson State University.

"We would like to thank coach Brown for all of her years of service and we wish her much success in the future," said Director of Athletics Bryan Hicks.

Brown's record over seven seasons was 106-110 and 44-12 in SWAC play. A&M finished the 2013 season 11-21 overall and 5-3 in the Eastern Division.

"I've been looking forward for this opportunity for the last three years and this is something I have always wanted to do," said Brown.

"I would like to thank Betty Austin for giving me the opportunity that allowed me to win the four championships, be in seven tournament championship contests and working with the student-athletes. You can't ask for anything better."

"I would also like thank everyone that had an impact on me while I was at Alabama A&M and I want to thank my family, coworkers and colleagues who help me achieve during my time on "The Hill".


ULM Adds Grambling State to 2014 Baseball Slate

MOROE, Louisiana -- The ULM baseball team has added Grambling State to its schedule and the two teams will battle at Warhawk Field on Tuesday, May 6 at 6 p.m.

ULM has lost just one of its originally scheduled 56 games as the squad enters the month of May. ULM and Southern Illinois were set to battle on the final day of the Carmel Inn Showdown in Thibodaux, La., but heavy rain combined with the Salukis scheduled flight out of New Orleans canceled that meeting.

ULM and Grambling State met in Monroe on April 23rd with the Warhawks claiming a 3-2 walkoff win as Kodie Tidwell delivered a one-out, solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to give ULM the win.


Powell becomes first MVSU men's basketball signee

ITTA BENA, Mississippi -- Mississippi Valley State Interim Head Men's Basketball Coach Marcus Thomas has announced the signing of Brayden Powell.

Powell, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from Moore, Oklahoma, becomes the first member of the 2014 signing class for the Delta Devils.

"We're glad to have Brayden join the Valley family," said Thomas. "He has a huge upside and can be a contributing member to the team. And not only has Brayden excelled on the basketball court, but he is also a standout student."

Last season, Moore -- who was a finalist for Mr. Basketball -- averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks per game at Moore High School.

2014 Basketball Signees

1. Jordan Jones signs with Mississippi Valley Delta Devils
Jordan Jones, 6'-6" Forward/TE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Freshman

2. Brayden Powell, Forward, 6'-8" 200, Moore, Oklahoma, Freshman


XU's Rolland, Abbes, Mandlekar win GCAC weekly honors

Nour Abbes
Tushar Mandlekar

 Devinn Rolland
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Devinn Rolland, Nour Abbes and Tushar Mandlekar added to their collection of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference weekly awards Monday.
Rolland was named GCAC Field Athlete of the Week for the fourth time this season and Track Athlete of the Week for the third time. Abbes is the Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the sixth time, and Mandlekar is Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the second time. All were chosen for performances from April 21-27.
Rolland, a junior from Harvey, La., and a graduate of Cabrini High Schol in New Orleans, produced NAIA national A-qualifying marks in the long jump (19 feet, 2¾ inches), the 400-meter relay (47.42 seconds) and the 200 (24.75) at the Leon Johnson NSU Invitational in Natchitoches, La., on Saturday. Rolland met the B-standard in the 100 (12.12).
Rolland teamed with Kailey Williams, Tramaine Shannon and Chelsea James for the Gold Nuggets' fastest 400 relay time of the last five years.
Abbes, a freshman from Tunis, Tunisia, and a graduate of Lycée Sportif d'El Menzah, remained unbeaten in singles for the season and helped the Gold Nuggets beat NAIA No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist and top-ranked Georgia Gwinnett to win the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament in New Orleans. Abbes defeated Georgia Gwinnett's Valeria Podda, the ITA's third-ranked NAIA singles player, 6-3, 6-2 in championship dual on Saturday.
Mandlekar, a freshman from Bhilai, India, and a graduate ofDeepak Nagar school, was a combined 5-1 in doubles and singles and helped the Gold Rush finish second in the unaffiliated group tournament. His 6-0, 6-0 victory against Tougaloo's Julius Gladney in the first round on Friday increased his singles win streak to a season-best five matches.
Rolland extended her GCAC career records for most weekly field awards (10) and track awards (6). Abbes extended her GCAC season record.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Sports Advisory From Xavier University of Louisiana

Gold Nuggets clinch automatic berth to NAIA Women's Tennis National Championships

NEW ORLEANS  -- Tuesday after 3 p.m., the seventh NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll of the season will be announced. There's a reasonable chance that Xavier University of Louisiana will ascend to No. 1.

Xavier, currently No. 2, defeated No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett 5-3 in the championship of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament in New Orleans on Saturday.

Xavier women's tennis was No. 1 in three consecutive polls last season.

This season Xavier is 15-6 with 12 victories in its last 14 duals. The Gold Nuggets have eight victories this season against ranked opponents, five against top-10 teams.

Xavier has two victories this season against No. 1 teams. The other was 5-4 on March 9 at three-time defending NAIA champion Auburn Montgomery.
The team will depart New Orleans on the afternoon of May 11 for the NAIA National Championship, which will begin May 13 in Mobile, Ala.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

ASU Student Athletes Honored At Athletic Banquet


MONTGOMERY, Alabama --   Volleyball 's Amber Bennett and men's baseball Richard Gonzalez received top honors as they won Most Valuable Player of the year awards. Track athlete Artrailia LeSane and Baseball's Richard Amion were named Student Athletes of the year for their performances and hard work during their athletic season.

 Bennett, from Baton Rouge, La. helped guide the Lady Hornets volleyball team to their first ever eastern division and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship, and appearance in the NCAA volleyball tournament earlier in the year.
 Lesane, from Fayetteville, N.C. has been a key spark to the Lady Hornets Track and Field teams championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor as she received All-SWAC and Most Outstanding Field Performer honors while, maintaining a 4.00 GPA.

Gonzalez, from Caguas, Puerto Rico and Amion, from Miami, FL both were honored for guiding the Hornet Baseball team to their best win record in school history and to a 2014 Eastern Division Crown as the SWAC Baseball tournament approaches in May.

Also honored for having the highest grade-point average in each sport were men's golf Robert Grant and volleyball's Brooke Beasley each of which had 4.0 GPA's for the year.

Team of the year Honors went to the women's indoor track and field program which won its sixth straight championship earlier in the year, and wrapped up its third consecutive Triple Crown championship after capturing the 2014 outdoor title down in New Orleans, LA.

 Other awards that were given out at the annual event were the large team academic awards, which was given to the Lady Hornets soccer and baseball teams, and the Lady Hornet tennis and men's golf, captured the small team academic awards.

--  Alabama State University athletic department held its annual Athletic Banquet ceremony Monday at the downtown Montgomery Renaissance Hotel Ballroom to honor all of the Hornet student-athletes for their hard work and dedication in the classroom and in their respective sports.


On The Mound: FAMU Rattler Baseball Weekly Recap 4/28

Courtesy Florida A&M Sports Information
Head Coach Jamey Shouppe was all smiles after the upset win over then No. 6 Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Florida  –  Florida A&M (19-23, 11-9 MEAC) split four road games last week, going 2-2, with a huge win over then No. 6 Florida in Gainesville, but went 1-2 over the weekend at North Carolina Central in a key MEAC series.

The Rattlers would have put themselves in great position for first place in the Southern Division with a series win, but are definitely still in contention for the top spot heading into the final conference series of the season against North Carolina A&T.

FAMU trails division leader Bethune-Cookman (20-26, 12-9 MEAC) only by a half game in the Southern Division standings.

Florida A&M had its chances all weekend as they took a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning of game one, but fell 8-5. After winning game two 7-3 in dominating fashion, FAMU led Sunday’s game three 11-4 in the fifth before Central took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth as the Rattlers fell in a heartbreaker 15-11.

Week (2-2):                                                                Pitcher of Record

Wednesday @ Florida                                               W, 4-3 - Brandon Fleming (3-3)

Saturday Gm 1 @ NC Central                                    L, 8-5 - Brandon Fleming (3-4)

Saturday Gm 2 @ NC Central                                   W, 7-3 - David Duncan (3-4)

Sunday @ NC Central                                                L, 15-11 - William Carrasco (3-4)

The pitching staff had an up and down week. Against then No. 6 Florida, the staff worked nine strong innings only allowing three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. In the series at NC Central, the short field in right (290 feet) wasn’t too kind to Florida A&M as the Eagles belted six home runs in the series. In the two losses, the Rattlers allowed 27 hits, including nine for extra bases, with a staff ERA of 12.94. In the win against Central, David Duncan earned the win after only giving up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts. William Carrasco pitched the final two scoreless innings, in the win, only giving up one hit.

Here’s a look at the pitching staff as a whole for the week.

Starting Pitchers for the Week:

W/L     ERA    IP     H   Runs   ER    BB    K’s   2B    3B    HR   WP   HBP

1-0       4.50   18.0  17  10          9       9      14     2       1       4       1       2

Relief Pitchers for the Week:

W/L     ERA    SV    IP     H   Runs   ER    BB    K’s   2B    3B    HR   WP      HBP         

1-2       12.21   1     14.0  23   19       19     4       10     2       2       3       2          8

The offense hit .290 as a team for the week with seven doubles and five home runs, including Marlon Gibbs first career home run. Catchers Jeremy Barlow and Ferdinand Rondon split time behind the dish, each having two starts. Both went 4-for-7 (.571) on the week while Barlow had a slugging percentage of 1.000. Michael Birdsong had a productive week hitting .429 (6-for-14) from the DH spot with a home run and two doubles. Birdsong was a triple short of the cycle against Central on Sunday as he went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Here’s a look at the offensive starters for the week.

C, Jeremy Barlow (2 Starts) - .571, 4 Hits, 1 Run, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1.000 SLG%

Ferdinand Rondon (2 Starts) - .571, 4 Hits, 2 Runs

1B, Bennie Robinson (4 Starts) - .294, 5 Hits, 5 Runs, 1 HR, 5 RBI

2B, Devin Perry (2 Starts) - .400, 2 Hits, 3 Runs, 1 RBI

Kendal Weeks (3 Starts) - .125, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 1 RBI

3B, Ryan Kennedy (4 Starts) - .250, 4 Hits, 3 Runs, 1 HR, 3 RBI

SS, Ryan Hutson (4 Starts) - .067, 1 Hit

LF, Marlon Gibbs (4 Starts) - .333, 5 Hits, 3 Runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI

CF, Blake Quillin (4 Starts) - .375, 6 Hits, 4 Runs, 4 2B, 3 RBI, .625 SLG%

RF, Peter Jackson (2 Starts) - .167, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 1 2B, 2 RBI

LoganSeymour (2 Starts) - .111, 1 Hit

DH, Michael Birdsong (4 Starts) - .429, 6 Hits, 3 Runs, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, .786 SLG%

Next Up:

Saturday, May 3 DH vs. North Carolina A&T

Sunday, May 4 vs. North Carolina A&T

Tuesday, May 6 vs. Jacksonville

Wednesday, May 7 @ Jacksonville (Regular Season Finale)

FAMU Baseball Weekly Stats

By Michael Morrell/Special to FAMU Athletics

Monday, April 28, 2014

MVSU Devilettes ruin JSU's chance at unblemished SWAC record

Photo Courtesy Mississippi Valley State University Athletics
ITTA BENA, Mississippi -- In a game that was televised live on ESPNU, the Mississippi Valley State softball team captured a 6-4 win over Jackson State on Saturday to give the Lady Tigers their first SWAC loss of the season. JSU, however, rebounded in the final game of the doubleheader with a 4-2 victory.

It marked the final game of the regular season for the Devilettes, who finished third in the SWAC Eastern Division. The SWAC Softball Tournament is set for May 7-10 in Decatur, Ala. at Wilson Morgan Park.

Game 1 (MVSU 6, JSU 4)
Deja Talton's RBI-double in the third inning helped spur a MVSU comeback on national TV. The Devilettes came back from a 2-0 deficit and putting three runs on the board in the third inning using Talton's double and an error by JSU that resulted in Valley's third run of the inning.

MVSU stretched its run to 6-0 by the end of the sixth inning after a RBI-triple by Yasmin Battle in the fourth inning and two additional runs in the sixth.

JSU scored two runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough to keep the Devilettes from spoiling the Lady Tigers' perfect season.

Cassandra Rivera, one of Valley's two seniors, won the game on the mound -- giving up two earned runs on six hits with 4.2 innings of work.

Game 2 (JSU 4, MVSU 2)
JSU withstood four errors to defeat the Devilettes, 4-2, in the final game of the series Saturday. Overall, the game included seven errors, as both teams concluded their regular seasons.

MVSU's Yasmin Battle went 2-of-3 at the plate with a RBI-double -- its first run of the game in the first inning. Valley's final run of the game also came in the first inning on a wild pitch.

Cassandra Rivera had three strikeouts on the mound for Valley in 3.1 innings of relief work.

Box Score 1 | Box Score 2      


Texas Soutbern Lady Tigers sweep Southern to close out regular season league play

Saturday TSU recognized five seniors who have been integral parts of the
Lady Tigers softball program
 HOUSTON, Texas  -- The Texas Southern Lady Tigers softball team completed a three-game sweep of Southern on Saturday at Memorial Park.  Texas Southern won games two and three 15-11 and 12-1 respectively.

Texas Southern improved its overall record to 27-16 for the season as they get set to wrap up regular season play this upcoming week.

The head storyline of the Lady Tigers three-game set with SU was the outstanding play of TSU catcher Chelsea Guenther who drove in 12 runs over the weekend.

"I'm really liking the way we're hitting the ball and Chelsea has been a big part of our success at the plate," said TSU head coach Worley Barker.  "Over the next few days we want to continue to show improvement in all facets of the game as we prepare for SWAC Tournament play."

"I feel really great about the way we played today," said Guenther. "Coach moved me up to the three hole in the lineup and that gave me a lot of RBI opportunities."

The Lady Tigers will host Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at Memorial Park at 4:00 pm in a single seven inning contest.
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2    


UAPB celebrates Senior Day with 5-0 win over Pittsburgh

PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS  --   The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Baseball team celebrated senior day with a 5-0 win over the University of Pittsburgh here Sunday afternoon at the Torii Hunter Baseball, Softball and Little League Complex.

The win gives the Golden Lions their first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in the new Millennium this season.  This season, UAPB has faced Southeastern Conference members the University of Mississippi and Auburn University, Big 12 members Texas Tech and the University of Oklahoma and Pac-12 member the University of California.  In addition, the Golden Lions faced Conference-USA member Tulane University

UAPB (19-25) punched out a game high eight hits with Vladimir Gomez going three-for-four from the plate.

UP (19-23) finished the contest with four hits with four Panthers finishing with one hit each.

Senior Pitcher Mikey Ramirez (5-4) picked up the win for UAPB as he pitched nine scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out six, while T.J. Zeuch(1-4) received the loss for UP as he pitched six innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs and striking out five.

The Golden Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with Rashawn Tillman scoring on a wild pitch, followed by a Jose Hernandez single to the left side scoring Kirby Campbell.
Isias Alcantar added to the Golden Lion lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with him scoring on a Campbell single to third base, making the score 3-0 in favor of UAPB.

UAPB plated two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Campbell bases loaded walk scoring Andre Davis, followed by a Mitch Bruckshaw hit-by-pitch scoring Joshua Cassidy for the 5-0 finale.

The Golden Lions will return to action on Wednesday, April 30 as they will take on Alcorn State in their final home game of the season in a 2 p.m. start at the Torii Hunter Baseball, Softball and Little League Complex.


Alabama State Hornets set school record for wins

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  -- Alabama State responded to an 80-minute weather delay with three runs in the third, only to have Jackson State rally for five in the fourth.

With one swing of the bat, Richard Gonzalez tied the game and helped the Hornets restore order with an 11-6 win over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

"Probably the most important at-bat in the game," ASU baseball coach Mervyl Melendez said. "We went up 3-0, we got down 5-3 in the top of the next inning. You have to answer the call. What is more impressive than anything else is the runs we scored (after the first three) were all with two outs. That says a lot about our guys and their concentration level."

With the win, the Hornets grabbed the series over the Tigers after splitting a doubleheader on Saturday, giving the program its first 9-0 sweep in Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season series.


MSU Offense gets win at Blue-Orange Spring Game

BALTIMORE, Maryland  --  The Bears' offense pulled away with an 88-60 win over the defense in Morgan State's annual Blue-Orange spring football game Saturday at sunny Hughes Stadium. The game marked the conclusion of spring practice for Morgan State's first year head coach Lee Hull. The Bears will open the 2014 season on August 30 at Eastern Michigan.

There were plenty of noteworthy items from Saturday's intrasquad game, which used a scoring system that awarded points for big plays other than scoring plays.
Coach Hull seemed pleased with the outcome.

"Spring practice has been going great, I think the guys were really into it," said Hull. "They wanted a change and they like the new direction we're going in. It's been pretty fun and I think the guys are enjoying it."

Robert Council scored on a four-yard QB-keeper in the second quarter, and Chris Clack hooked up with Landen Malbrough for a 6-yard touchdown pass to end all scoring during a little over 2 hours of action.

Placekicker Chris Moller was automatic on special teams by converting all four of his field goal attempts.

Quarterbacks Robert Council and Moses Skillon led the passing game.

"I think our quarterbacks played pretty well," said Hull. "It's a new system and we throw the ball a little more than they have done in the past, so I think they did pretty well."

"They still have a lot to learn about anticipating throws, having a clock in their head, and when to take off and run. But I thought they had a pretty good command of the offense."

There were several other highlights during the day:

+ Moses Skillon dropped back and completed a pass to Eme Akonawe who raced down the middle of the field for a 40-yard gain

+ Lamont Brown III had several solid runs, including a run in which he spun off a hit by linebacker Gregory Gibson and picked up 15 yards

+ Herb Walker II had an 18-yard run

+ Jamil Wilson broke runs of 32 and 24 yards

+ Tracy Martin had a 15-yard run

Linebackers Taquon Jackson and Cody Acker, along with safety Peterson Janvier, led the Bears defense. The defense recorded a couple of sacks and also forced a turnover when Eric Alvis intercepted Maurice Lowery and returned it 16 yards.

A few Bears did not play. Quarterback Seth Higgins, sat out spring workouts after surgery on his (right) throwing shoulder. Tight end Willie Gillus (ankle), defensive end Heleiance Gates (foot), defensive tackle Micale Smith-Murray (knee) and safety Paul Eatman (leg) also missed the

In addition to touchdowns and field goals, points are awarded on offense for explosive plays, while the defenders gain points for sacks, tackles for loss, three and outs, and turnovers.


ASU Lady Hornets Win their Fifth Consecutive Outdoor Championship; Men Finish Fifth

NEW ORLEANS — The men had a solid championship finishing fifth overall finishing with 86 points. Grambling won the title of the men's side with 141 points.

The Lady Hornets finished with 236.50 points, well ahead of second-place Southern (138.50). Head Coach Ritchie Beene also received the Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year honors.

"I am excited" said head coach Ritchie Beene. "It was a hard fought victory for our ladies program but; overall I was pleased with all of the performances of our athletes including all that had personal best for the entire weekend."

Johnetta Williams started the day off for the Lady Hornets with a third place finish in the discus throw with a 41.47m (136-01 feet).  Kadijah Gordon added a second place finish in the triple jump with a 12.11m (39-08.75 feet) leap.  Alicia Terrell finished first in the high jump with a mark of 1.71m (5-07.25 feet); Gordon added a sixth place finish in the same event with a 1.55m mark.

After eleven events the Lady Hornets were down 86-78 to Texas Southern after a key disqualification of ASU's 4x100m relay. However, they never gave up as Artailia Lesane won the 1500 meter run in 4:38.95, Shantia Wilson placed third (4:47.26) and Paige Rankine finished fourth (4:48.69) to help ASU regain the lead and never look back enroute to the crown.

"We had to overcome a lot of challenges including our disqualification in the relay, but it just goes back to what we have been telling our athletes all weekend about having character," Beene said. "It showed as the ladies were reliant and did what they were supposed to do to carry out the victory."

Narricka Williams ran a personal best 13.99 in the 100 meter hurdles to take fourth overall. ASU took first and second in the 400 meters with Santina Williams crossing the line in 54.68 and Kimberly Wedderburn in 54.91.

Tatiana Etienne finished first in the 800 meters with a 2:10.21; Jerrica Mahone took third with 2:15.36 and Shantia Wilson finished fourth (2:17.27). Narricka Williams took third in the 400 meters hurdles running a 1:01.58.

The Lady Hornets sweep the 200 meter race with Alexis Ferebee running a personal best 23.48; Santina Williams who finished second with a 23.83 ran a personal best and Latrice Lee finished third with a 24.05 also a personal best.  Gordon wrapped up the event with an eighth place finish in 24.69.

ASU also completed the sweep in the 100 meters with Ferebee winning the event in a personal best 11.52, Lee was next crossing the line in a personal best of 11.69 and Dikerria Wilson finished in third in a personal best time of 11.77.

Lesane (18:17.68) and Rankine (18:48.74) came back for the 5000 meter run to take second and third place finishes, respectively. Shakalia Williams took seventh in the event crossing the line in 20:03.95.

In the final event of the day the women's 4x400m relay finished in first place in a season's best time of 3:37.93. The winning relay consisted of Wedderburn, Etienne, Ferebee and Williams.

On the men's side, Devauntay Brown led the way for ASU with a win in the high jump.  His winning leap was 2.06m (6-09.00 feet). Dyrez Ribeiro finished third in the same event leaping to a mark of 2.02m (6-07.50 feet).

Christopher Amisial took second in the pole vault event with a 4.15m (13-07.25 feet) mark, his teammate decathlete O' Shane Shaw placed third with a 4.05m (13-03.50 feet) and Sylvester Byrd rounded the scoring for the Hornets in the event with a sixth place finish(3.45m). Lee Thrasher took fourth in the discus event (47.65m).

The Lady Hornets turned a slim four-point lead after day two to a rout on the final day as the Alabama State women's outdoor track team won its fifth consecutive SWAC outdoor track and field championship and third consecutive triple crown.

Justin Davis took fifth in the 100 meters with a collegiate best time of 10.54 and Devin O'Neal placed third in the 200 meters with a personal best time of 20.90.  The men's 4x100 meter relay took fourth in a time of 41.39; relay consisted of Davis, Byrd, O'Neal and Ryan Hall.

In the final event of the day the ASU took fifth in the men's 4x400m relay in a time of 3:13.36, the relay consisted of Ribeiro, O'Neal, Hall, and Byrd.

"I am excited about the men's performance for the weekend; we just have to put the pieces together," Beene said. "I am looking forward to next year to bring in some more guys to get the men program back on track. As long as our men stay strong, positive and work together we can get it built."

ASU will begin preparations for any athletes going to the East Regional which will be held in Jacksonville, FL May 24-25.


Alcorn State rebounds to earn Men's Tennis Championship

Photo courtesy SWAC.ORG
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  --  SWAC Tennis Freshman of the Year, Nischay Rewal's victory over Takura Mlambo, lifted Alcorn State to a 4-2 win over Alabama State to claim the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Championship on Sunday at the City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center.

Rewal earned the victory in No. 3 singles play with set scores of 6-3 and 7-5.

ALC (9-8) stayed unbeaten in league competition winning its eighth championship title overall and fourth in a six-year span.

After dropping doubles play to ASU (7-12), the Braves totaled wins from tournament MVP Ernesto Santillan (No. 1), Nikita Kostiko (No.5) and Garry Amor (No.6).

Santillan earned his match with sets of 6-0 and 6-3 while Kostiko defeated his opponent - 6-2, 6-2. Amor followed with 6-2, 6-3, to take his match to give ALC a cushion for the deciding point.

The Hornets claimed the doubles match-up behind the duo of Dylan Cleary and Jarred Thompson, 8-6 along with Digvijay Naruka and Mlambo, 8-5.

Adam Coyne picked up ASU's only victory in singles defeating Max Tkachenko, 6-2, 6-4.

Alcorn State will face an opponent to be announce during the NCAA Selection Show (Teams) via online stream The show is slated for April 29 at 5 p.m.


COURTNO.#1 Alcorn State vs. #2 Alabama StateRESULTSFINISH
11Cleary / Thompson (ALST) def. Santillan / Kostikov (ALCN) 8-6
22Amor / Rawal (ALCN) vs. Mataba / Coyne (ALST) DNF 
33Naruka / Miambo (ALST) def. Tkachenko / Morviac (ALCN)  8-5


COURTNO.#1 Alcorn State vs. #2 Alabama StateRESULTSFINISH
11Ernesto Santillan (ALCN) def.Dylan Cleary (ALST)6-0, 6-3 
22Lucas Morviac (ALCN) vs. Ronal Mataba (ALST)  
33Nishcay Rawal (ALCN) vs. Takura Miambo (ALST)  
44Max Tkachenko (ALCN) vs. Adam Coyne (ALST)  
55Nikita Kostikov (ALCN) def. Jarred Thompson (ALST)6-2, 6-2 
66Garry Amor (ALCN) def. Stefan Vojnic (ALST)6-3, 6-3 

Carlos Martinez - Jackson State
Nichay Rawal - Alcron State
Nakita Kostikov - Alcorn State
Adam Coyne - Alabama State
Ronald Mataba - Alabama State
Jose Luque - Jackson State
Ernesto Santillan - Alcorn State
Anthony Dodgen - Alcorn State


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grambling State Wins 2014 SWAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship

NEW ORLEANS -- The Grambling State Tigers claimed their sixth straight conference title on Sunday at the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Tad Gormley Stadium. GSU scored 141 points to earn their 10 title overall, earning Bertram Lovell Coach of the Year honors.
Southern finished the meet second with 123 points, while Prairie View was third with 109 points. Mississippi Valley State was fourth with 104 points and Alabama State rounded out the top five with 86 points. Texas Southern was sixth (81 pts), Arkansas Pine Bluff seventh (72 pts), Alabama A&M and Jackson State eighth (41 pts). Alcorn State finished 10th (21 pts).

Individually, Erick Thomas from Arkansas Pine Bluff was the championship’s Most Outstanding Field Performer scoring 30 points. Thomas won the Discus Throw with a distance of 163.-02 (49.73) and the Javelin. Meanwhile Daniel Kibet of Mississippi Valley State was the meet’s Most Outstanding Runner making it the second straight year. Kibet earned a total of 33 points. Kibet won the 5000 Meter Run (16:17.87) and the 10000 Meter Run.

Other top finishers included Devin Jenkins from Southern winning the 100 Meter Dash (10.06) along with the 200 Meter Dash (20.13). Jenkins was also on the 4x100 Meter Relay team that earned the top spot clocking in at 40.42. Grambling State’s Sylvester Baisden finished first in the 110 Meter Hurdles (13.88). His teammates Jamael McTear and Darius Taylor won the 400 Meter Dash (47.29) and the 1500 Meter Run (4:06.13) respectively.

Dannie Lucky (Prairie View) crossed the line first in the 400 Meter Run (52.21). Meanwhile his teammate Preston Woodard earned back to back first place honors in the Men’s Triple Jump with a distance of 52-06.00 (16.00m), Devauntay Brown (Alabama State) finished first in the High Jump 6-09.00 (2.06m), Jawalyn Brooks (Texas Southern) came away with the highest mark in the Pole Vault with 14-08.75 (4.49), and Prairie View’s Sorone Batiste won the 800 Meter Run (1:52.94).

Arkansas Pine Bluff ended the day winning the 4x400 Meter Relay crossing the line with a time of 3:10.45.


NSU shows off new offense in final spring scrimmage

NORFOLK, Virginia  -- A new offense was introduced, the battle at quarterback intensified and an already stout defense showed significant improvement.

Add to that a general lack of major injuries, and it was a pretty good spring for Norfolk State.

The Spartans completed their final spring scrimmage Saturday at Dick Price Stadium, with rising juniors Tyler Clark and Malik Stokes splitting most of the time behind center.

Coach Pete Adrian, who planned to name a starting quarterback after spring practice, said he will do so after watching film from Saturday. Meanwhile, he was pleased with what he saw in general.

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