BATON ROUGE, La. — Southern scored two runs on an eighth-inning home run and held on to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-5 in the finale of a SWAC baseball doubleheader Saturday.
UAPB (9-19, 4-6 SWAC) won the first game handily, 9-1. But Southern’s win set up today’s rubber match, scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Lee-Hines Field.
Jim Ploeger (4-3) threw a complete-game gem in the opener for UAPB. He struck out eight and gave up one run on five hits.
Isias Alcantar provided the offensive highlight of the game for the Golden Lions, hitting a grand slam as part of an eight-run seventh inning to make it a 9-0 lead. Alcantar went 2 for 5 with the four RBIs and scored two runs.
The game was scoreless until Dwayne Hysmith launched a solo home run in the sixth. Hysmith finished 2 for 2 with two RBIs.
The UAPB seventh started with Alcantar’s double down the left-field line. He scored on a fielding error, followed by Warren Stehn’s RBI single to left, Hysmith’s sacrifice bunt, Mike Ludwig’s one-run single and Alcantar’s grand slam.
Southern scored in the seventh.
UAPB got seven hits to Southern’s five in the first game. Southern used three pitchers, with Jesse Holliday (3-2) taking the loss after allowing four earned runs on four hits and striking out nine in six innings.
In the second game, the Golden Lions trailed 4-0 after one inning but scored a run each in the fourth and sixth innings and three in the eighth to tie it at 5.
Alcantar hit an RBI groundout in the fourth. Mike Wieland doubled in a run in the sixth in the sixth to pull the Lions within 5-2.
The top of the eighth was marked by Kirby Campbell’s single to center field and a two-run double by Stehn. But Southern responded in the bottom half on a two-out, two-run homer by Sean Washington.
Wieland and Alcantar each had two hits, but UAPB was outhit 11-7. Grant Glass was charged with the loss after giving up the homer; he worked two-thirds of an inning and allowed three hits.
Lions starter Andrew Buehler was roughed up for four runs on five hits in the first two-thirds. Southern’s Jose DeLeon gave up five earned runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings for the win.