Arkansas-Pine Bluff hadn’t played a baseball game in town in almost two weeks, and the Golden Lions were greeted with a no-hit performance by Jarvis Christian College’s Josh Peschell.
So, Stanten Jones was ready to help UAPB rebound.
Jones was nearly perfect on the mound for six innings, giving up just a full-count single, and the Lions won the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader, 8-1, at Torii Hunter Baseball Complex. Jarvis Christian, an east Texas-based NAIA club, won the first game 5-0.
“That was really tough for us to go out there and get no-hit the first game,” Jones said. “I knew I had to go out there, especially being a senior on this team, and kind of get us in a situation to set this team on the right track again.”
Jones sat down the Bulldogs batters in order each of the first five innings of the second game. With one out, Edwin Torres took a full-count offering from Jones and ripped a single down the first-base line to end the perfect-game bid, but the Lions (8-18) got out of the inning with a 1-6-3 double play on the next at-bat.
Jones struck out two in facing the minimum 18 batters through six innings.
“He did exactly what you would want him to do as a coach,” UAPB coach Carlos James said. “He established first-pitch strikes, got ahead of hitters and gave us a chance to get a lead, and we pretty much cruised.”
Four more UAPB pitchers worked the last three innings, combining to allow four runners and one run on a hit and three fielding errors. UAPB had five hits in the game, led by Isias Alcantar’s 2-for-4 hitting and two runs each for Cody Demera and Dwayne Hysmith.
Jarvis Christian (23-18) also committed six errors to UAPB’s three.
The Lions led 1-0 after one inning and 4-0 after two runs on errors and an RBI groundout in the third. They added four runs on three hits in the fifth for an 8-1 lead.
Joshua Zaragoza took the loss after allowing the eight runs on four hits and two walks in the first 4 2/3 innings.
Game 1, however, belonged to Peschell, a sophomore right-hander. He faced 30 batters and struck out six.
“Just felt good from the start when I woke up this morning,” he said. “Just felt (that) good things were going to happen, had a good defense behind me.”
James said the Lions’ six-day layoff — a weekend series against Prairie View was postponed — was not a factor in their inability to hit off Peschell.
“I thought the kid did well keeping us off-balance,” James said. “Like I told my team, the better team won that game.”
Ethan Vestal went 3 for 4 with an RBI and Jelfred Santell knocked in two runs for the Bulldogs.
UAPB is scheduled for a Saturday twin bill and Sunday single game at Southern. The Lions then will play two games at Memphis before hosting Grambling State in another weekend series.