MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Florida Memorial (21-24) downed Rust College (25-25) 13-3 to advance to the championship game of the Saturday against Albany State in the Black College Baseball World Series presented by Tyson Foods at Riverwalk Park – home of the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits – Friday night. 

In the process, FMU won its first NAIA bracket trophy for the two-bracket tourney and ran its record in the double-elimination meet this week to 3-0 and to 5-1 over the last two holdings of the tourney. Memorial was edged by eventual champ Edwards Waters 9-8 in the semifinals in ’22. 

Jalen Young launched his second home run in three days for his fifth hit of the evening and first-third RBI to evoke the 10-run mercy rule against a gritty Bobcats crew. Rust’s hitting leader was leadoff man Shemaar Stapleton with a single in three trips and an RBI. He helped RC avoid a 10-0 loss in the top of the seventh when the losing nine scored three runs. 

Winning pitcher Friday night was Max Charnin (6-3) with his team-most sixth victory, and Brytan Sanpson (4-5) absorbed the setback for Rust after being chased after three full innings. 

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 – Edward Waters 9, Bluefield State 6; Game 10 – Rust 12, Paine 6. Game 11 –  Albany State 8, Edward Waters 3; Game 12 – Florida Memorial 13, Rust 3 (8 innings). 

Saturday Championship: 5 p.m. (CDT) – Albany State vs. Florida Memorial. Home Run Derby sponsored by Guardians at 2 p.m.