Golden Lions clinch Western title


HOUSTON — Senior pitcher Mikey Ramirez pitched his second complete game in as many starts and the Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball team swept Texas Southern with a 7-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader at MacGregor Park on Saturday.

The sweep clinches the SWAC Western Division championship for the Golden Lions after winning the first game, 12-7.

“The weight of Pine Bluff is off my shoulder,” UAPB head coach Carlos James said. “I put a lot of pressure and expectation on myself and I didn’t want to let anybody down.”

James, a native of Pine Bluff, said it was a “tremendous amount of relief.”

Ramirez, who threw his first shutout of the season last week against Pittsburgh, was an out away from repeating his success.

“There was no way I was going to take him out,” James said. “He earned that right to complete the game.”

The Los Angeles native gave up just one run (unearned) and scattered five hits. He did not give up a walk and struck out just one batter.

“Mikey has been awesome,” James said. “Another complete game. He was the pitcher of the week last week and it looks like he is going to do it again.

“I’m proud of him.”

Offensively, UAPB (22-25, 16-6 SWAC) tallied 11 hits in the second game including a game-high performance by Kirby Campbell who finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Senior catcher Mike Wieland was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Andre Davis had two hits and Isias Alcantar was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

“The guys did a really good job,” James said. “They have gotten hot at the right time and I’m so proud of them.

“They are locked in.”

UAPB scored one run in the second, three in the third and three runs in the eighth. They left 11 runners on base and committed one error.

TSU (21-27, 12-9) scored its only run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

UAPB clinches the No. 1 seed for the SWAC baseball tournament and will play the No. 4 seed from the East. James said it will most likely be against the winner of the Jackson State/Alcorn State series.

In the first game, UAPB defeated TSU thanks to four players tallying two hits each.

Davis, Alcantar, Joshua Cassidy and Rashawn Tillman had two hits for the Lions. Davis and Alcantar had two RBIs each and Tillman finished with four RBIs. Cassidy also had an RBI.

Vladimir Gomez led the offense with four hits in five trips with a run scored.

UAPB scored four runs in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth, three in the seventh and three in the ninth.

TSU scored a run in the first, three in the second, and two in the sixth.

Relief pitcher Redmond Floyd earned the win after pitching 3 1/3 innings. He allowed just four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.