TU earns first home victories; gives Stillman first conference losses in two seasons
Last weekend, the Golden Tigers’ baseball team picked up their first two home victories of the season at Paterson Field in Montgomery, Ala. against a conference rival that had previously suffered only one regular season conference loss this decade. By defeating Stillman last Sunday with a pair of 4-3 and 4-1 victories, the West Division rivals suffered their first SIAC baseball loss of any kind since March 25, 2011, when Albany State defeated the Tigers of Tuscaloosa by a score of 8-7. The pair of victories for Tuskegee also marked the first time this decade that an SIAC team could claim a pair of back-to-back wins over Stillman, as well as the first time an SIAC team earned a victory over the Tigers inside their own home facility.
Joy to Life co-founder Joy Blondheim threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Tuskegee's Breast Cancer Awareness game against Stillman.
The three-game set started last Saturday night (March 16) as the Golden Tigers dropped their opening game of the series by a score of 8-3. Even though Tuskegee fell short in the contest, the Golden Tigers received their largest crowd of the season during Breast Cancer Awareness Night, as proceeds were donated by Tuskegee fans to the Joy to Life Foundation based in Montgomery. Joy to Life serves the citizens of South Alabama by providing mammograms and assisting with treatment for underserved Alabamians from Montgomery to Macon County. Tossing out the ceremonial first pitch was Joy to Life co-founder Joy Blondheim. After the first pitch, the Joy to Life staff teamed up with the Golden Tigers behind home plate to pose in their special pink uniforms that they wore for the special occasion.
In Saturday’s game, Tuskegee managed to get an early 2-1 lead after the first inning, but could only manage one more run in the seventh inning. Brandon Mapp stole home to put TU on the board, and Cameron Duncan hit a triple to score Cash Oliver. Stillman would tie the game in the top of the second when Dustin Dunn scored off of a bases-loaded walk for Chris Brown, and take the lead back for good when Kameron McCreless hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Brad Sevenish on a stolen home base.
In Sunday’s first game, Tuskegee held a 4-1 lead and would withstand a late homerun from the Tigers to get their first victory in the series by a run. An RBI by Alex Henderson would tie the Tigers in the bottom of the fourth, and started a rally that would allow Tuskegee’s other three runs in the same inning. Cameron Summers would score Henderson on an RBI double, and Brandon Thomas would get two more RBIs to give TU a 4-1 lead, which was enough to hold off a two-run blast by McCreless to knot up the weekend series at a game each.
The weekend doubleheader ended with Tuskegee only allowing one Stillman run in the top of the fifth inning to complete the Sunday sweep. Brandon Thomas had an RBI double and scored a run, while William McCrary earned the other RBI of the second inning due to an error by the shortstop. Mapp would score on a sacrifice fly by Gene Moody in the third inning, and the Golden Tigers would earn one more insurance run after Stillman’s Jordan Creel stole home to cut the lead to two runs. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Samuel Rodney scored Cameron Duncan, and Tuskegee was able to earn the three-run win, even though TU left two men on base in the final inning of offense.
After suffering a 21-3 loss to Alabama-Huntsville on Wednesday, Tuskegee was supposed to play Clark Atlanta University in a doubleheader on Saturday. However, due to weather conditions, the doubleheader has been moved back to Sunday, beginning at Noon Eastern. The Golden Tigers are then set to wrap up their road trip with a doubleheader against Columbus State on Wednesday.
The Tuskegee Baseball team posed in their special pink uniforms with Joy to Life employees last Saturday.
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