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College baseball: Bufford breaks GSU career home run record

by Russell Hedges

By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Associate AD for Athletic Communications

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Cameron Bufford etched his name in the history books of Grambling State Athletics with his school-record breaking 38th career home run in GSU’s 3-2 victory over Florida A&M in game two of the Ralph Garr-Bill Lucas HBCU Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Bufford entered the series tied with Chris Cottonham (1997-2000) with 37 career homers. The Senior from South Holland, Ill. broke the record with a towering shot over the left centerfield wall in the third inning of the final game of the day. 
Game 1
The first game of the day was pitcher’s duel between Randy Reyes and Caleb Granger that saw Florida A&M (5-6) inch by GSU 2-1 on a chilly afternoon in North Georgia.
Reyes (0-2) was strong through six innings of work, surrendering two runs on three hits. He struck out four batters. Reyes had a no-hitter going with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, but a single by FAMU’s Broedy Poppell broke it up. 
Granger fanned seven batters through six innings. He allowed one run on three hits. 
Poppell’s hit sparked a two-run inning for the Rattlers, that gave them a 2-1 lead, and was just enough to propel them to victory.
Grambling State (2-8) scored its lone run of the game in the top of the third when Cameron Bufford stroked an RBI-single, giving the Tigers an early advantage.
GSU had a chance to go ahead in the final inning, loading the bases with two-outs and the big bat of Bufford at the plate. However, Carson Kelly shut the door with a strikeout to preserve the win for the Rattlers. 
Hits came at a premium in the opening game, with both teams scattering three hits. 
Game 2
Grambling State was able to bounce back in the second game, defeating the Rattlers 3-2.
GSU jumped out a quick lead when Kyle Walker ripped an RBI-double to left field, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. 
Bufford extended the lead with his record-breaking home run in a bottom of the third. It was a solo shot that extending the Tigers’ advantage to 2-0. Bufford went 2-for-4 in the contest. 
After FAMU got a run back in the top of the fourth, Trey Burrell laced an RBI-single into centerfield, making it 3-1 GSU. Florida A&M made it a 3-2 game in the sixth, but that would be as close as the Rattlers could get to the Tigers.
Mason Martinez (2-0) was solid on the mound for Grambling State, working seven innings. He fanned four batters while surrendering two runs on five hits. Miguel Baez shut the door on the Rattlers, picking up his first save of the year after pitching two innings and holding FAMU hitless down the stretch.
GSU’s bats were equally impressive, with the Tigers battering the FAMU pitching staff for 11 hits. Walker, Bufford and Ashton Inman all registered multi-hit games. 
GSU gears up for a trip to New Orleans, La. for a midweek game at Tulane on Wednesday, March 6. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium and will be streamed on ESPN+. 

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