LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Texas Southern baseball team fell behind early, made a late run but ultimately fell short in the finale against the New Mexico State Aggies on Sunday.
The Tigers were led by the Tyrese Clayborne, who hit 4-for-5 and scored a run, and Roderick Coffee, whose three-hit showing continued his multi-hit game streak (3) to start the young season.
Texas Southern's bats fell silent for the first five innings of the game as Aggies starter Chris Jefferson stymied the lineup to only four hits. In that time, Clayborne provided half of the offense with two of his four total hits.
Simultaneously, as TSU's offense hit an impasse, the home Aggies had success in the batter's box. Following a 1-2-3 first frame, the Aggies got on the board first with an RBI double by designated hitter Jake Baer. Afterwards, from the third all the way to the fifth inning, the nation's best offense from last year flexed their muscles.
Aided by two home runs—a grand slam and a two-run shot—from shortstop Nick Gonzales, the Aggies combined to scored eight runs on three TSU pitchers.
In the top of the sixth inning, and with a 9-0 deficit in their hands, the Tigers' bats began swinging in response to NMSU's initial barrage. First baseman Victor Bueno put Texas Southern on the board with a two-run homer. In the seventh, following a hit-by-pitch and a couple of singles, Dean Salazar pinch-hit a sacrifice fly to right to send Coffee home for one more run. The play was immediately followed by an Oscar Ponce RBI-double to turn it into a 9-4 game.
Then in the eighth, Coffee went ahead and hit a three-run blast to center which gives him four home runs on the young season.
TSU added one more run in the ninth after a balk committed by pitcher Alex Reyes sent Nic Garza home.
However, as the Tigers mounted a comeback in the late stages of the game, the Aggies put their lead out of reach by scoring six runs in the seventh and eighth.
After a day off on Monday, the Tigers will head to Norman, Okla. to face the Oklahoma Sooners for a short two-game series, which will start on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
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Courtesy: TSU Athletics