JACKSON, Miss. – In week 12 of the 2017 baseball season, the Jackson State baseball team went on a five-game run, sweeping conference rival Alabama A&M in a three-game weekend series and taking two games on the road against Chicago State University and Florida A&M University. With the Tigers weekend success, JSU officially claimed the 2017 Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division Title and the number one spot going in to the SWAC Championship tournament.
Nationally, Jackson State ranks first in sacrifice bunts, stolen bases, and stolen bases per game, second in on base percentage and runs, third in sacrifice flies, fourth in hit by pitch, sixth in batting average, and eighth in scoring. The Tigers also garnered top 50 rankings in base on balls, doubles, doubles per game, shutouts, slugging percentage, triples, triples per game, and win/loss percentage.
Among teams in the conference, JSU ranks first in batting average, doubles, earned run average, hit by pitch, hits, on base percentage, runs, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies, scoring, shutouts, slugging percentage, stolen bases, stolen bases per game, strikeout-to-walk ratio, strikeouts per nine innings, triples, triples per game, WHIP, and win/loss percentage.
The Tigers have several players leading the JSU offense. Bryce Brown, Lamar Briggs, CJ Newsome, Jesus Santana, and Cornelius Copeland have helped propel the program to the top and have grabbed individual national attention.
Bryce Brown ranks fifth in the nation in on base percentage, 11th in stolen bases, and 12th in stolen bases per game. The Walker, La. native ranks second in the conference in base on balls, fifth in base on balls per game, fourth in batting average, fourth in hit by pitch per game, fourth in hit by pitch, first in on base percentage, sixth in runs, first in runs per game, second in stolen bases, and second in stolen bases per game. The junior infielder has played in 45 games with 44 starts for a .362 batting average. He has tallied 149 at-bats, 45 runs, 54 hits (six doubles and one triple), 28 RBI, and 62 total bases for a .416 slugging percentage and a .503 on base percentage. He is also 23-for-27 in stolen bases.
Lamar Briggs ranks 45th nationally in doubles, ninth in hits, 44th in hits per game, and 49th in batting average. Among players in the conference, he ranks second in batting average, first in doubles, third in doubles per game, second in hits, second in hits per game, second in RBIs, sixth in runs per game, 15th in stolen bases, second in total bases, fifth in triples, and sixth in triples per game. The junior utility leads the Tigers with a .377 batting average, playing in 50 games with 50 starts for 199 at-bats, 46 runs, 75 hits (17 doubles, four triples), 45 RBIs, 100 total bases, .503 slugging percentage, and a .438 on base percentage. He is 13-for-16 in stolen bases.
CJ Newsome ranks 26th in the nation in runs, 11th in stolen bases, and 18th in triples. The sophomore outfielder ranks sixth in the conference in doubles, first in runs, third in sacrifice flies, second in stolen bases, and second in triples. He has played in 38 games with 36 starts for a .352 batting average. He has recorded 142 at-bats, 50 runs, 50 hits (14 doubles and five triples) for 24 RBIs, 74 total bases, a .521 slugging percentage, and a .443 on base percentage. The Columbia, Miss. native is 23-for-24 in stolen bases.
Jesus Santana ranks fourth in the nation in RBIs and seventh in RBIs per game. In the conference, he ranks fifth in doubles, first in home runs, first in RBIs, first in RBIs per game, fourth in sacrifice flies, and sixth in slugging percentage. The Cagus, Puerto Rico native has played in 49 games with 47 starts. He holds a .304 batting average with 181 at-bats, 39 runs, 55 hits (15 doubles, one triple, and nine home runs) for 62 RBIs, 99 total bases, a .547 slugging percentage, and a .387 on base percentage. He is 8-for-9 in stolen bases.
Cornelius Copeland ranks 19th in the nation in hit by pitch per game and 10th in hit by pitch. In the SWAC, he ranks fourth in doubles, fourth in doubles per game, first in hit by pitch per game, first in hit by pitch, fifth in on base percentage, second in runs, second in runs per game, sixth in sacrifice bunts, ninth in stolen bases, and ninth in stolen bases per game. The senior infielder has maintained a .324 batting average with 49 games played with 47 starts. He has recorded 173 at-bats, 47 runs, 56 hits (16 doubles and two triples) for 40 RBI, 76 total bases, a .439 slugging percentage, and a .454 on base percentage. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native is 16-for-17 in stolen bases.
The Tiger bullpen is lead by three starting pitcher and several relief pitchers. Miguel Yrigoyen, Jordan Bolden, and Jonathan Aponte head up the JSU defense on the mound as starting pitchers and Jose Tirado is the Tiger closer.
Yrigoyen ranks 21st in the nation in games started and third in victories. In the SWAC, he ranks third in earned run average, third in games started, and first in victories. The Valencia, Venezuela native holds a 2.96 earned run average with a 9-2 record. He has appeared in 12 games with 12 starts for one complete game, 85.0 innings pitched, 80 hits against, 37 runs (28 earned), 24 walks, 60 strike outs, and a .243 opposing batting average.
Bolden ranks first in the nation in games started and 11th in victories. Among pitchers in the conference, he ranks sixth in complete games, first in games started, and second in victories. The Madison, Miss. native has maintained a 3.29 ERA with an 8-3 record. He has appeared in 15 games with 14 starts for two complete games, 76.2 innings pitched, 74 hits, 44 runs (28 earned), 65 strikeouts, and a .248 opposing batting average.
Aponte ranks 13th in the nation in complete games, 21st in games started, and 33rd in victories. In the SWAC, he ranks second in complete games, third in games started, and third in victories. The senior right hander has maintained a 3.58 earned run average with a 7-2 victory. He has appeared in 13 games with 12 starts for three complete games. He has recorded 78.0 innings pitched 78 hits against, 40 runs (31 earned), 46 strike outs, and a .252 opposing batting average.
Tirado ranks first in the conference in saves. He has maintained a 0.68 earned run average and a 3-0 record with 21 appearances and eight saves. The junior right hander has pitched 39.2 innings with 28 hits, four runs (three earned), 46 strikeouts, and a .200 batting average against.
Up Next: The Tigers will play their final home game of the season as they travel to Thibodaux, La. to take on Nicholls State on Wednesday, May 10. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.