MADISON, Ala.- The Southern Jaguars captured the 2021 SWAC Baseball Tournament Championship with a thrilling 7-6 win over the Jackson State Tigers on Sunday at Toyota Field.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Southern starter John Guienze, but the Jaguars answered in the second inning. Isaiah Adams’ bases-loaded single brought home one run, AJ Walter scored on a wild pitch and Southern took a 3-2 lead when Burgos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Jackson State set the tempo for the middle innings, bringing in two runs to retake the lead in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth to bring the score to 6-3.
Southern’s bullpen would subsequently shutdown the JSU batters the rest of the way, with Mykel Page, Dimitri Frank and Ozoa combining to allow just one unearned run in four innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
The Jaguars cut JSU’s lead to 6-4 on Zavier Moore’s solo homer in the eighth inning, and then Jovante Dorris singled and Judah Wilbur walked to lead off the ninth inning, setting up Burgos.
The Jaguars took the lead for good on a three-run homerun by O’Neill Burgos in the top of the ninth inning.
After taking a one run lead the Jaguars turned to Enrique Ozoa to close the game. He would go on to retire the Tigers next three batters on his way to picking up the save and punching the Jaguars’ ticket to the 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament as the automatic qualifier for the SWAC.
Burgos drove in four runs on the day and was subsequently named the 2021 SWAC Baseball Tournament Most Valuable Player for his outstanding contributions.
Southern’s Dimitri Frank was credited with the win after keeping JSU scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings of play. The win caps back-to-back titles for the Jaguars as Southern claimed the title in 2019. First year interim head coach Chris Crenshaw also claimed his first title at the helm of the program.
2021 SWAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Kyle Smith- Prairie View A&M
Jahmoi Percival- Grambling State
Cameron Bufford- Grambling State
Equon Smith- Jackson State
Chenar Brown- Jackson State
Wesley Reyes- Jackson State
Nickelle Galatas- Jackson State
Xavian Moore- Southern
Isaiah Adams- Southern
Colton Frank- Southern
Enrique Ozoa- Southern
O’Neill Burgos- Southern (Most Valuable Player)
About the SWAC
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.
Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis.
Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.
Follow the SWAC
For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at www.swac.org.
COURTESY THE SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE