Arkansas-Pine Bluff clinched its weekend SWAC series with Texas Southern on Saturday thanks to a doubleheader sweep at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex.
The Golden Lions (17-25, 11-7 in the SWAC) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win Game 1, 7-6. UAPB defeated Texas Southern 10-5 in the second game.
“We swung the bat pretty well in the second game,” UAPB head coach Carlos James said. “We did a good job of scoring and I was proud of the way they responded after the first game.
“We got the momentum going and got us an early lead and we held on.”
In the first game, Dwayne Hysmith hit a double in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to plate Isias Alcantar and Mike Ludwig and give the Golden Lions the win.
“That was huge for our program,” James said. “Because that is usually what happens to us, people come back and beat us.
“Now, with the hard work we have all put into the program, it is finally starting to turn for us.”
Texas Southern had scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
“I was proud of the way we stayed in it,” Jones said. “We didn’t play our best game, but we played good enough to win.
“I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
Stanten Jones is credited with the win after he pitched out of a jam in the top of the ninth. With two runners on and just one out, Jones was able to get the next two on a groundout and a strikeout.
UAPB starter Jim Ploeger pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed six runs (three earned) on two walks and four strikeouts.
For Texas Southern (17-22, 9-11), Michael Starkey is tagged with the loss. He allowed two earned runs on two hits with a walk in just two-thirds of an inning.
Tyler Oertle led UAPB at the plate in Game 1, finishing 3 for 4 with one RBI and run scored. Hysmith’s winning hit was his only hit of the doubleheader.
In game two, UAPB’s Mikey Ramirez took the win after pitching seven innings. He allowed five runs (all earned) on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
“Mikey did an excellent job,” Jones said. “Coming off the dramatic win in the first game, he was able to keep them subdued pretty much the whole ballgame.
“He did a really good job. I was proud of him.”
Ramirez had been throwing some relief the last couple of games, but Jones said that was because they were trying to work him back into a starting role.
“His relief work was like 30 to 40 pitches, but he is finally back where he can resume his starting role,” Jones said.
UAPB scored two runs in the bottom of the first, one in the second, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and three in the seventh inning. Texas Southern scored a run in the first, a run in the fourth, one run in the seventh and two in the eighth inning.
In the fifth, Dylan Calhoun hit a RBI single and later scored on a two-run single by Cody De Mera. In the seventh inning, Oertle hit a two-run single to plate De Mera and Calhoun.
UAPB got on the board in the first inning thanks to a two-run double by Alcantar.
De Mera finished the game 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs. Oertle had two hits and three RBIs and Kirby Campbell was 3 for 4 with a run scored.
Calhoun was 4 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs.
Texas Southern’s Robert Pearson takes the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also walked three and struck out one.
Demario Thibodeaux led TSU at the plate, finishing 2 for 4 with two runs and one RBI. Marquis Curry was 1 for 1 with two RBIs.
Jones and Redmond Floyd closed out game two for the Golden Lions. They combined for two innings of work and allowed just two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Sebastian Stargell, a Watson Chapel graduate, went 1 for 3 in each game for Texas Southern. He scored a run and batted in one in the first game.
The Golden Lions will try to complete the sweep today.
“(Today)’s game is still very important to us,” Jones said. “If we win (today), we assure ourselves a spot in the (SWAC) tournament and that’s been our goal since the season started.”