In just his third season, Kenyan Conner was named the conference's Coach of the Year on Wednesday shortly before his No. 1-seeded Rams went out and laid an egg in their conference tourney opener, losing in a stunner, 9-5, to Tuskegee.
OZARK, Ala. — After capturing the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament for the first time in three years, the Albany State baseball team dipped into the loser’s bracket with a 9-5, opening-round loss to Tuskegee on Wednesday.
The Rams took a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning, but fourth-seed Tuskegee’s Cash Oliver, the conference’s Player of the Year, hit a two-run triple in the top of the inning to give the Golden Tigers their first lead.
Tuskegee scored three more in the ninth off ASU reliever Damarkus Green to put the game away. Rams starter Donte Williams got the loss after allowing five runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, and Allen Hardy led ASU at the plate with two hits and an RBI.
Albany State will now face an elimination game at 9 a.m. today against Kentucky State.
CONNER NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR: In his third year as head coach of the Albany State baseball team, Kenyan Conner was named the conference’s Coach of the Year on Wednesday after guiding the Rams to a 15-5 regular-season conference record to earn the East Division’s No. 1 seed.
In Conner’s first two years as coach, the Rams finished second in the conference and failed to win conference titles, but ASU ran out to a 13-1 record to start the 2013 season and hung on for the No. 1 seed despite dropping four of its final six games.
Hardy, a sophomore shortstop, was ASU’s lone representative on the All-Conference team, which was puzzlingly made up of five players from East Division No. 3 seed Benedict, three players from West Division No. 1 seed Stillman and one player from West Division No. 4 seed Tuskegee.
ASU centerfielder Dexter Moody, who was third in the conference in batting, was on the All-Conference Second Team along with teammate Robert Latner.