BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas Southern made a late charge but came up one run short as they dropped a 4-3 decision to Alabama State in a delayed SWAC Tournament opener on Thursday night at Regions Field.
Despite waiting 24 hours until both teams could get on the diamond due to inclement weather, neither team showed signs of rust as it was a scoreless contest until the fourth. After a pair of CJ Castillo strikeouts, Alabama State hit a two-out triple and followed it up with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. With two outs once again in the fifth and two runners on, ASU hit another two-RBI single as they upped the margin to 3-0.
The Hornets had two runners on in the seventh before TSU went to its bullpen as Alex Olguin was summoned. ASU went with a double steal as the throw at home wasn’t attempted due to a throwing error by the Tigers as they trailed 4-0.
Justin Cooper drew a one-out walk in the eighth which made ASU turn to its bullpen. Juan Sanchez drew another walk and Roderick Coffee came up big with a three-run homer to left for a 4-3 deficit. However, TSU couldn’t keep the momentum going as they hit a pair of groundouts to end the inning.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, Gabriel Vasquez hit a one out single to right and moved to second as the ball barely beat Johnathon Thomas to first, which was challenged and upheld. Unfortunately, TSU couldn’t capitalize as they ended the game on a groundout.
Coffee went 2-for-3 with one run and three RBI while CJ Castillo struck out four in 6.1 innings of action.
TSU will make a quick turnaround as they’ll face Grambling State at 12 p.m. tomorrow on the campus of UAB. If they win, they’ll face the loser of Bethune-Cookman or Alabama State at 6 p.m. back at Regions Field.