MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Florida Memorial (20-24 overall) topped Paine (15-14 overall) 12-2 in Game 8 to advance into Friday’s semifinals unbeaten at 2-0 in the Black College Baseball World Series presented by Tyson Foods at Riverwalk Park – home of the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits – Thursday night. 

Jalen Young launched a two-run home run in the top of the second inning to key a seven-run rally for FMU as the Lions took an early 7-0 advantage and lashed 15 total safeties for the evening. Ricardo Alvarez Lugo earned the pitching victory to raise his 2023 mark to 2-3, and Young drove in four total runs with the homer and two singles. It was the second 10-run-rule game in succession during the meet. 

Paine, the Augusta, Ga.-based college with a roster of 16 postseason players, had a two-hit evening from Joshua Cruz to help offensively. Starting pitcher Fabio Warff (2-1) absorbed the defeat. 

Florida Memorial moved to 4-1 in its last five contests at BCBWSPBTF after falling 9-8 in the ’22 tourney to eventual champion Edward Waters in the semifinals. 

Paine at 1-1 moves into an elimination game Friday at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) against upstart Rust before Memorial tangles with the winner of the Paine-Rust contest for a place in Saturday’s finals from the NAIA portion of the NCAA Division II vs. NAIA contenders. Edwards Waters won as a NAIA member in 2022 before moving into the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2023. 

The four-day tournament consists of double-elimination competition among NCAA Division II and NAIA teams in separate brackets for three days and a championship contest between bracket winners Saturday at 5 p.m. (CDT). The title game will be preceded by a special Black College Baseball World Series Presented by Tyson Foods Home Run Derby at 2 p.m. (CDT).  

Thursday games (all times CDT) – Game 5 – Edward Waters 9, Savannah State 5; Game 6 – Rust 9, Wiley 2; Game 7 – Albany State 12, Bluefield State 2 (7 innings); Game 8 – 7:30 p.m. – Florida Memorial 12, Paine 2 (8 inn.). 

Friday’s Schedule – Game 9 – 9 a.m.: Edward Waters vs. Bluefield State; Game 10 – 12:30 p.m. – Rust vs. Paine; Game 11 – 4 p.m. – Albany State vs. Winner of Game 9; Game 12 – 7:30 p.m. – Florida Memorial vs. Winner of Game 10.  

Saturday Championship: 5 p.m. – bracket winners. Home Run Derby at 2 p.m.