May 2—Staff report
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Bluefield State College has won the first Black College World Series, defeating Xavier 7-2 in the tournament championship game held in Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala.
Austin Stambaugh (3-5) went the nine-inning distance to collect the championship victory, striking out seven and walking five. He allowed five hits and gave up two runs, only one of which were earned.
The Big Blue scored six runs in the first inning and Stambaugh took care of the lead until the final out. Bluefield State got it done on five hits, offensive highlights including a 2-for-3 showing with two RBIs by Shane Reviello and an RBI triple by Kevon Moxey.
In addition to winning the tournament championship, Bluefield State finished for the year with a winning record (15-12).
The Black College World Series is an independent post-season baseball tournament, created jointly by the Montgomery Biscuits — a Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays — Black College Nines and the BCSG-360.
This week’s inaugural double-elimination bracket featured eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities drawn from the NCAA Division II and NAIA ranks.
Division II representatives included Savannah State, Bluefield State, Kentucky State and Lane College The NAIA contingent included Xavier, Rust (Miss), Florida Memorial and Edward Water (Fla,).
The Big Blues beat Edwards Waters 5-4 on Wednesday, a victory collected by pitcher Kenrick Mendez (1-1) and highlighted by doubles from Tanner Brandon and Moxey. Taylor Tibbs doubled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
A 4-1 victory versus Xavier on Thursday served notice that the Big Blue was a contender for the tournament crown. The Gold Rush, the nation’s only Catholic HBCU, held the top seed in the bracket and boasted the tournament’s best record, finishing tournament play at 26-9.
Brandon (1-2) struck out seven en route to picking up the victory in the game, helping his cause with an RBI double.
In Friday’s showdown with Florida Memorial, a four-run rally in the sixth inning followed by a three-run burst in the seventh put the Big Blue ahead for keeps, setting the stage for Saturday’s championship meeting with Xavier.
Bluefield state hammered out 14 hits in that game. J.R. McRee went 4-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs, Brandon went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Roman Moore had a double and an RBI, Reviello went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs and C.J. Cooper went 2-for-3.
Mendez (2-1) sealed the victory at the end with three innings of shutout relief, striking out five and walking none.
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