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The G-Men get a ticket to the NCAA in walk-off mode

The G-Men get a ticket to the NCAA in walk-off mode


Tiger Borom and the Grambling State baseball team celebrate after their 6-4 victory over Jackson State in the SWAC Championships title game.

By T. Scott Boatright

ATLANTA – The story continues for Grambling State athletics in 2024.

After seeing both GSU basketball teams earn playoff hoops berths earlier this spring, the Diamond G-Men have now earned Grambling's first NCAA berth since 2010.

This happened in dramatic fashion.

Graduate student Trevor Hatton laid down a bunt down the third base line, resulting in a throwing error allowing Cameron Bufford and Kyle Walker to cross home plate in the bottom of the ninth, giving the G-Men a 6-game win -5 over Jackson State and the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.

The victory secures the SWAC's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

The win comes just months after the GSU men and women earned a postseason basketball tournament berth for the first time in years.

Jackson State scored a run in the top of the ninth to take a 5-4 advantage heading into Gramblings' final at-bat.

But the North Louisiana Tigers were not intimidated.

Walker singled to open the bottom of the ninth inning and advanced to second base on a throwing error before Jackson State intentionally walked Cameron Bufford. The runners were then advanced to second and third on a grounder to second base by Julian Murphy.

After an intentional walk to Ashton Inman loaded the bases, Hatton's perfect bunt combined with Jackson State's throwing error provided the all-time scoring runs for GSU.

The swing of a game saw Jackson State take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the G-Men scored a run in the bottom of the third and three more in the fourth to build a 4-2 advantage. .

But Jackson State responded with a run in the top of the fifth and another in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.

Jackson State scored a run in the top of the ninth before Hatton's heroics in the bottom half of the stanza gave Grambling its first SWAC title in 13 years.

Hatton finished the day going 2 for 5 for three RBIs.

He had a slow start to the season and at one point I had to let him go,” GSU coach Davin Pierre said of Hatton. It was an inconsistency. But he managed to get back into the (starting) lineup and my big back three Hatton, Julian Murphy and Cam (Murphy), those guys were at the heart of it. The heart of history in the making.

Pierre also thanked mentors James Cooper and Wilbert Ellis for their encouragement throughout the season.

I can't say enough about either one, Pierre said. I learned everything from Coop, he was my man and I still talk to him all the time.

And Coach Ellis, he's part of the Grambling State University foundation. We love him for the support and dedication he has shown to this team. We still learned from him every day. Now this team has to learn how to play in the NCAA Regionals, and that's something I know Coach Coop and Coach Ellis are proud of, although I'm the proudest.

Grambling State will find out its regional site Monday at 11 a.m. when the NCAA Selection Show airs on ESPN.




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