Take two: a doubleheader sweep by Tuskegee leads to victory in the Music City Diamond Classic
The Music City Diamond Classic hosted by Black College Sports Group 360 (click HERE to visit their website) in Nashville, TN pits the Lane College Dragons (7-14 entering the series) against the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers (5-10 entering the series). In a season disrupted by the pandemic, along with the Dragons being slightly more game-active (their previous game is April 14th against Christian Brothers University) than their Golden Tiger counterparts (as their most recent game is an April 7th win over Point University by a 6-5 score), some would say any momentum would favor Lane College.
Saturday's opener shows just that, as Lane College trounces Tuskegee by a 10-0 score. The offense puts up 6 runs in the first 3 innings and a dominant pitching performance (only 1 hit allowed) sends a message they are prepared to play at First Horizon Park (the home of the AAA Nashville Sounds).
Tuskegee receives the message loud and clear; for Sunday's doubleheader, they deliver a resounding message of their own.
Starting pitcher Savonte Williams tosses a shutout (7 innings). He allows 3 hits in his complete game gem (with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk) and the offense is paced by Joshua Lewis (2 for 4), Caleb Cobb (2 for 3), and Richard Smith (2 for 3). With contributions thanks to runs batted in (RBI's) by Ronald NcGhee, Cyree Broughton, and Ryan Martin, their 5 -0 win in the first game of the Sunday afternoon doubleheader evens the series (click HERE for the line/box score).
In the second game of the doubleheader (and the deciding game of the series), the Golden Tigers' 5-run bottom of the 3rd inning creates separation from the Dragons. 3 insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th inning provide them with a larger lead; Ronald NcGhee (3 for 4 with 3 RBI's), Caleb Cobb (2 for 3 with 2 RBI's), and Corey Stallings (1 for 3 with 2 RBI's) lead the offense, resulting in an 8-1 win.
Just as in the first game of the doubleheader, outstanding pitching sets the tone. Hunter Hudson matches nearly matches his pitching mate's performance with a complete game of his own (click HERE for the line/box score). Showcasing solid command (allowing 1 run on 4 hits, as well as a 7:2 strikeout to walk ratio), Tuskegee sweeps the doubleheader and takes the Music City Diamond Classic in resounding fashion.
Improving to 7-11 on the season, Tuskegee looks to build on the series and classic success in the upcoming days while Lane College (8-16) looks to rebound on April 20th as they take on Xavier University of Louisiana in Jackson, TN (a doubleheader at the Ballpark in Jackson).
Good team play and a great series.
A winning combination.
Writer's notes (all video and photos by Andrew Snorton):
Video: Winning pitchers Savonte Williams and Hunter Hudson share the adjustments and focus needed to sweep the doubleheader. Head coach (and College Park, GA native) Reginald Hollins provides insight on his team's mettle along with what makes the team and Tuskegee University so special.
Top row (left to right): Hunter Hudson is dealing during his complete game win. He allows 1 run in 7 innings pitched. Lane College huddles up to see what adjustments they can make.
First row from the top (from left to right): The Golden Tigers add 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th, including these 2. Caleb Cobb's 2 RBI's in the second game of the doubleheader (he goes 4 for 6 with 2 RBI's collectively) help pace the Tuskegee offense.
First row from the bottom (from left to right): Hudson's complete game is the "icing on the cake", as his teammate, Savonte Williams, tosses a complete game shutout in the opening game. Lane College tries to get back in the game, but their offense is limited to 1 run in the doubleheader.
Bottom row (from left to right): After a 10-0 loss where the offense generates 1 hit (in the opening game), they rebound to outscore Lane College 13-1 to sweep the doubleheader and win the series. After the final out, the Golden Lions make their way to the field to celebrate.