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HBCU Baseball Roundup: Jackson State Sits Atop Black College Baseball.com’s Top 10 Poll
JSU’s run barrage continued in their next game, a 15-13 slugfest against Grambling State. A slow start on the mound ended in a 6-1 GSU lead after the first inning, but it wasn’t long before JSU got things going. The Tigers were again led at the plate by Rodriguez, who had 2 runs on 4 hits.
Steven Collins pitched five innings for JSU and allowed no runs, shutting GSU out in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings. During that time, JSU piled on 10 runs, seemingly putting the game out of reach for Grambling.
In the ninth, Grambling tacked on 4 runs before JSU put together the game-winning out when GSU’s Marvin Mercer grounded out to the pitcher.
RETURN OF A LEGEND
Off the field, the university named longtime former baseball coach Robert Braddy to be its next athletic director. Braddy is the winningest baseball coach in SWAC history with a 823-555-3 career record. Between 1973 and 2001, his teams won 12 SWAC championships, more than any other coach in league history.
He guided the Tigers to three NCAA tournament appearances, two NCAA play-in games and four NAIA tournaments. Braddy was named SWAC Coach-of-the-Year nine times.
Braddy’s first conference title came during his first season as JSU’s head coach. His team won back-to-back titles in 1977 and 1978, and again in 1989 and 1990. He also won three consecutive SWAC titles from 1993-95. His other league championships came in 1980, 1982, 1986 and 2000.
Since Braddy’s first season at JSU, 52 of his players have reached the professional ranks, including Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, Marvin Freeman, Wes Chamberlain, David Clark and Curtis Ford. He produced two first round draft choices in Clark, an outfielder, (1983) and pitcher/outfielder Earl Sanders (1986).
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