After an all-around performance Friday night, Saturday was the total opposite as the Texas Southern Tigers lost both games in Saturday’s doubleheader to drop the series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
It is the team’s first series defeat to Arkansas-Pine Bluff since 2016 and the first home series loss to them since 2015.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 14, TEXAS SOUTHERN 3
Texas Southern’s starter Brian Williams fell into a deep jam in the top of the second inning by conceding four runs off a string of singles and a fielding error committed from his own part. His start was cut prematurely after a failed pickoff attempt made by his catcher on a UAPB runner who was trying to steal second base.
Williams’ final line of 1.1 innings pitched accounted for four allowed hits, five runs (four earned), one walk, and two strikeouts.
He was relieved by Jacob Morin and Adam Dearinger in that particular order to stifle the opponent’s surging offense, but the UAPB offense continued to sizzle as they scored eight unanswered runs (until an Avery Chapman two-RBI home run in the bottom of the seventh ended TSU’s scoring drought) against the Tigers to seal the win and call the game to a brisk end.
Along with Chapman’s blast, his effort was aided by four other teammates who each hit once to make up the team’s total of five in the game.Tyson Thompson and Justin Cooper each stole a base in addition to their hit from the doubleheader’s first leg.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s starter Tony Horn Jr. finished with a complete game win over the Tigers that spanned seven innings for five hits, three earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts.
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 14, TEXAS SOUTHERN 10
UAPB opened the second game in emphatic fashion with 12 unanswered runs in the first four innings, extending Texas Southern’s woes for at least half of the doubleheader’s second game. Due to its substantial lead, Pine Bluff adjusted their lineup and opted to play defensively in order to preserve the 12-0 score.
However, TSU mounted a monstrous rally by scoring nine runs on the back of seven walks and a grand slam to left center field by Avery Chatman. In that period, TSU forced UAPB to yank Jace Mapston, who himself was slated to replace starter Brandon Little, out of the mound and stop the bleeding.
In the sixth, Oscar Ponce drove a solo shot to deep left field (his second of the series) to reduce TSU’s deficit to three runs at 13-10.
TSU’s next big opportunity to tie the game arrived in the bottom of the eighth when they loaded the bases with two outs on the board and sent Nic Garza, their hottest batter from the PV series, to the plate. Unfortunately, he struck out swinging in three consecutive pitches to end the threat and continue trimming their chances of victory.
Despite the result, Chatman reached base in every at bat during the game. His 2-for-2 performance included that aforementioned grand slam in addition to having three walks, two runs, and one stolen base. Similarly, Jordan Vidato fetched two hits, two RBIs, and one run in his 2-for-5 performance.
Five pitchers were sent to the mound for the duration of the second game of the doubleheader. Chief among the relievers for the Tigers was Alex Olguin who pitched for 3.2 innings in the final third of the game and compiled two hits, one run (none earned), and five strikeouts. A.J. Winger returned to action after a 10-day absence and had himself 1.1 innings pitched in addition to his two hits, one earned run, and one walk.
Rounding out the pitching corps was Adolf Castillo and Jaiden Beck. Castillo opened the fourth inning as a replacement for starter Bryson Armstrong, but he lasted for 0.1 innings after giving way to two hits, four earned runs, and two walks with five faced batters. Jaiden Beck stepped in for Castillo to finish the fourth and did as such, pitching for 0.2 innings and allowing two runs (one unearned), and one walk.
Up next for the Tigers’ schedule, they will embark on a week-long road trip throughout Louisiana that begins with a one-off game against Tulane University on March 17 at 6 p.m.