With an 11-0 seven inning win over Northeastern State at Torii Hunter Baseball Complex Tuesday, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball team is on a two-game winning streak.
On Sunday, UAPB (3-18-1) beat Texas Southern 10-9 on Sunday to snap a nine-game winless streak, so the winning streak should instill some confidence in the team, Lions coach Carlos James said.
“We got a winning streak, and it’ a good thing,” he said. “Hopefully two wins in a row gives us confidence to build off. (Tuesday) they did a good job of doing the things we asked them to do, especially at the plate.”
While the game against Texas Southern was a conference game, the Golden Lions faced off against an NCAA Division II team on Tuesday.
Even though it was a Division II school, James said the team did exactly what it should do against a team like the Riverhawks (12-8).
“It helps a lot because you go out and do what you are suppose to do,” he said. “If we had won the game 3-2, then the players would be concerned or I would be concerned because it’s Division II.
“You are supposed to come out and handle the game pretty good. This is like an easier game for us.”
It was the second straight game the Lions have scored 10 or more runs and the third time this season. The Lions have won all three games, too.
James said he has been working with his hitters during batting practice.
“The last two games, they have done a good job at getting runners over, getting bunts down, getting the fly balls we need to get runners in,” he said. “It’s good to see them take care of business and that’s encouraging.”
The work in batting practice seemed to pay off for the Lions on Tuesday. The 11 runs came off 11 hits and UAPB drew four walks and had four batters hit by a pitch.
Soloman Williams is one of the UAPB players who has excelled at the plate the last couple of games. The freshman, who was batting eighth in the line-up earlier this year and is up to third now, went 2-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored on Sunday before going 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored on Tuesday.
Williams said his improvements have come from working with James.
“I am seeing it good and been feeling good in batting practice,” he said. “I am trying to stay up the middle, so that’s been helping. Coach has just been having us square up on the ball wherever it’s pitched and I think that’s paid dividends for us.”
Williams added that this is the offensive prowess the team hopes to see for the rest of the season.
The Lions also got a solid pitching performance from Redmond Floyd, who threw the complete game and gave up just four hits, walked one and struck out five.
“The key was he got ahead of hitters,” James said of Floyd’s performance. “He threw a lot of strikes and his confidence kind of went up from that. Hopefully he can keep that up and build off it.”
Floyd acknowledged how much getting ahead of hitters really helps him on the mound.
“When I get behind, I get walks and hit batters,” he said. “It really hurts me, so getting ahead is what I need to do. It opens up what I can do and I can use my slider in different situations.”
Cody DeMera and Tyler Hill each had two RBIs in the win and Sherman Thomas, Jacob Whitney and James Boulware all had an RBI.
Floyd said the two-game winning streak definitely gives the team confidence.
“We’ve been struggling,” he said. “We have been competitive, but we’ve been struggling. We are getting on a roll going into the SWAC, so this was good.”
UAPB plays at 6:30 p.m. today at Memphis.