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College baseball: Grambling State to make third appearance in NCAA Tournament, first since 2010

by Russell Hedges

By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Associate AD for Athletic Communications; featured photo by Alexis Blue, AAMU Athletics

For the third time in school history, the Grambling State University baseball team is headed to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The Tigers travel to College Station, Texas for the Bryan-College Station Regional hosted by No. 3 National Seed, Texas A&M. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. 

GSU (26-26) punched its ticket to the tournament after defeating Jackson State 6-5 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship. It’s head coach Davin Pierre‘s first tournament title as head coach. 

The Tigers will open tournament versus Texas A&M who enter Friday’s contest 44-13 overall. The Aggies are led by head coach Jim Schlossnaggle. The other side features the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and the Texas Longhorns. 

Grambling State last participated in the NCAA Tournament in 2010 after winning the SWAC Title under former head coach and GSU alum James Cooper. In that season, GSU participated in the Fayetteville, Ark. regional. 

Prior to that season, the Tigers qualified for the 1985 NCAA tournament where nearly beat national runner-up Texas 4-3 before bowing out to Oklahoma 5-2. That squad was led by legendary head coach Wilbert Ellis and finished with a 36-16-1 overall record. 

Grambling State brings in one of the most potent offenses in the nation, boasting a team batting average of .317, third best in the SWAC and 10th best in the nation. Junior second baseman Kyle Walker leads the charge, batting .394 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, and one triple. 

Mason Martinez, Friday’s projected starter, paces the GSU pitching staff. The senior right-hander sports a 12-2 record and a 4.33 ERA. He fanned 85 batters in 112.1 innings of work. 

Texas A&M has been one of the nation’s best teams, earning the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tourney. The Aggies’ pitching staff has the seventh best ERA in the nation (3.97).  Their  staff rank first in shutouts (10), first in 1-1 strike percentage (69%), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.31), fourth in WHIP (1.24), seventh in ERA (3.97), ninth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.8), 10th in 0-0 strike percentage (62%), 11th in hits allowed per nine (7.94) and 11th in walks allowed per nine (3.26). The staff’s 10 shutouts are tied for the second most in program history with the 1976 team.

Offensively, Texas A&M ranks fourth in homers per game (2.18), fifth in homers (124), sixth in slugging percentage (.567), sixth in walks (355), 13th in runs (500), 16th in scoring (8.8) and 19th in on-base percentage (.419).


Friday, May 31
12:00 PM – G1: Texas A&M vs Grambling State (ESPN+)
5:00 PM – G2: Louisiana vs Texas (ESPNU)

Saturday, June 1
2:00 PM – G3: Game 1 Loser vs Game 2 Loser
8:00 PM – G4: Game 1 Winner vs Game 2 Winner

Sunday, June 2
2:00 PM – G5: Game 3 Winner vs Game 4 Loser
7:00 PM – G6: Game 4 Winner vs Game 5 Winner

Monday, June 3
TBA – G7: Game 4 Winner vs Game 5 Winner (if necessary)

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