Eight baseball players selected to HBCU All-Star Game


Staff Report

MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Alabama State University baseball will be well represented when the first pitch is tossed at the HBCU All-Star Game presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods on Saturday, June 3, 2023.

The game scheduled for Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on June 2 at 7:15 p.m. (ET), 6:30 p.m. (CT). The day includes a All-Star pro combine at Noon (ET) followed by the Home Run Derby at 6 p.m. (ET) and the All-Star game at 7:15 (CT). Fans can watch and purchase tickets for the game by CLICKING HERE to navigate to the game homepage. 

Alabama State has the most invitees with eight Hornets received invitations to the game, that includes Omar Melendez, Jamal George, Randy Flores, Ian Matos, Jayden Sloan, Luis Rodriguez, Ali Lapread and Corey King

All eight were Alabama State’s historic season that saw the Hornets set a school record with 41 wins. The Hornets became the fifth team SWAC history to win 40-plus games in a season and the first team since 2002-03. ASU’s 41-18 record carried a .695 winning percentage, ranking 22nd in the nation. 

Melendez was named the SWAC Pitcher of the Year and First-Team All-SWAC, posting a perfect 12-0 record. He led the SWAC in wins (12), ERA (2.52) and complete games (4). Melendez ranked third in the SWAC in innings pitched (93.0), fourth in strikeouts (96) and fifth in opponent batting average (.253), and was recently named a Finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and was selected the SWAC Pitcher of the Week four times. 

Jamal George was named the SWAC’s Freshman of the Year and earned Second-Team All-SWAC honors. George started 57 games behind the plate posted a .284 average with 10 doubles, six home runs and 34 RBI.

Ian Matos was named Second-Team All-SWAC as a centerfielder, leading the conference with 20 doubles. Matos tied for third with 66 runs scored, fourth with 78 hits and 44 walks, while his .482 on base percentage was sixth in the league. Matos finished the year with a .355 average, nine home runs and 47 RBI while slugging .595.

Randy Flores earned First-Team All-SWAC honors at second base. He led the SWAC with 38 stolen bases and ranked 2nd in the SWAC (10th NCAA) as the toughest to strikeout at 15.2. The juniors’ 52 runs scored ranked fifth and his 82 hits were second in the conference. Flores finished the year with a .336 average, 11 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBI.

Jayden Sloan saw action in 50 games with 38 starts, batting 3.49 with 12 doubles, six home runs, 24 RBI, 35 runs scored and seven stolen bases. 
Luis Rodriguez ranked second in the SWAC with six saves and fourth with 27 appearances. He posted 2-1 record with a 4.41 ERA and made two starts with midweek wins over Jacksonville State and UAB.

Ali Lapread played in 42 games with 35 starts in right field, batting .371 (7th SWAC) with 10 doubles, 13 home runs (T4th SWAC) and 39 RBI. He led the SWAC with a .736 slugging percentage and had a .460 on base percentage and six stolen bases. 

King was named the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year after he was named the 2022 SWAC Player of the Year and First-Team All-SWAC. The senior overcame a slow start to finish the season with a.306 average with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 50 RBI. 

The HBCU All-Star Game, presented by Minority Baseball Prospects (MBP), will host its inaugural 2021 HBCU All-Star Game to showcase top-tier collegiate talent from Historical Black Colleges and Universities.

The teams are selected by current and former HBCU coaches and players. Each player selected will have the opportunity to compete against the best in the game, and show Major League scouts that HBCU ball players have what it takes to advance to the next level.