Diamond Hornets look for payback on the Plains

MONTGOMERY, Ala (bamastatesports.com)  – After an open weekend on the schedule, the Alabama State baseball team returns to action Tuesday at 6 p.m., facing Auburn at Plainsman Park for the second time this season.

The game will be televised on the SEC+ Channel and is also available for viewing on the Watch ESPN app.

The Hornets (23-13 overall, 15-0 SWAC) last played one week ago in an 11-3 loss at Samford on Tuesday. The defeat was ASU’s first in the month of April and ended a seven-game winning streak, the longest of the season. This is game five of an eight-game road trip, as Alabama State returns to conference play for a three-game series beginning Friday at Mississippi Valley State. Last week’s game was the 10th in a stretch in which the Hornets will play 18 of 20 games away from home.

“We worked on defensive fundamentals and hitting approaches,” said Alabama State head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez of his team, which has played the toughest schedule in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, has a national RPI of 149 and leads the league in home runs with 38. “I feel really good about what we were able to accomplish this weekend at practice. We’re excited to get back on the field.”

Carlos Ocasio leads the SWAC with 11 home runs, tied for the most since Frederick Holland’s 11 homers in 1971. The SWAC Player of the Year candidate is hitting .324 on the season and is third in the conference in RBI (44), ranks second in slugging percentage (.662), and leads the SWAC in total bases (90).

The Hornets and Tigers (17-19, 5-10) will face each other on the baseball diamond for the second time this season. Auburn, which is coming off a home series win over SEC foe Tennessee, defeated the Hornets 11-0 on March 22.