Lions take two from Panthers

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Jim Ploeger and Mikey Ramirez both nearly went the distance for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Twice, Kevin Walsh was there to finish off Prairie View A&M.

Ploeger and Ramirez each threw an eight-inning gem as UAPB began a three-game SWAC series with a doubleheader sweep, winning 3-2 and 6-3 Friday.

Ramirez (3-4) was on the hook for the loss in the eighth inning of the latter game, when Prairie View scored a run to take a 3-1 lead. But the Golden Lions (10-20, 10-3 SWAC) responded with a five-run ninth, and Walsh came on to hold the Panthers to one hit for his second save of the day and fifth of the season.

Ramirez struck out four and allowed two earned runs on six hits.

Mitch Bruckshaw and Isias Alcantar each drove in two runs to lead the Lions. Bruckshaw was the team’s only multiple hitter in the game, going 2 for 3.

UAPB outhit Prairie View 8-7, but the Panthers had two players each with two hits.

Panthers starter A.J. Helms had an eight-inning gem of his own with one unearned run on three hits and four strikeouts. But Sean Hollis (1-1) cost him the decision after giving up the five ninth-inning runs (two earned) on five hits.

Ploeger (4-2) struck out 10 and scattered six hits over eight innings in the opener, allowing only two earned runs. The Lions gave him just enough run support with two runs in the eighth to take a 3-1 lead, but the Panthers pulled within 3-2 in the ninth before Walsh took the mound.

Rashawn Tillman drove in two runs. He, Alcantar and Jerimiah Figueroa each went 2 for 4, as UAPB totaled 10 hits to Prairie View’s six.

The series, originally scheduled for three days, will conclude with a game at noon today.