Castillo’s RBI Propels TSU To Win In SWAC Baseball Opener
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – CJ Castillo was wearing his clutch cleats on Friday afternoon as he came in clutch with one out in the top of the 10th inning when his single to right field plated a pair of runs as the Texas Southern University baseball team defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 9-7.
The game also marked the beginning of play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference for both squads as TSU improved to 15-6 overall while UAPB dropped to 7-10.
TSU got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Alexander Olivo scored from third on a one-out triple to right by Jeffry Mercado. Two batters later, Michael Goudeau’s single to center brought in Mercado for a 2-0 TSU advantage.
The scoring continued into the third inning when Castillo led off the inning with a double down the right field line and would later score on a Daalen Adderley grounder to third. The final run of the inning would see G. Vasquez scootch across the plate when Olivo grounded out to first base.
UAPB would score its first run in the fourth inning before piling on four in the sixth to chase TSU starting pitcher Abraham Deleon from the contest after tossing 5.2 innings giving up five runs on seven hits, three HBPs and three walks against seven strikeouts.
With TSU now trailing 5-4, Mercado sent a single into right center that was deep enough to allow Adderley to score from second base and tie the game as the Tigers’ dugout erupted in jubilation.
Enter Castillo and those clutch cleats as he stepped to the plate with one out and the lead run at second base in the form of pinch runner Chase Cromer. Castillo plastered a pitch into left field to put Cromer off to the races and he didn’t stop until after he had crossed the plater with what was then the game-tying run. Vasquez would later score on a wild pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth before UAPB plated a pair of runs to send the game into extras where Castillo had the game-winning two RBI hit.
Castillo would end the day going 3-for-6 with a double, three runs batter in, a stolen base and a run scored while teammate Mercado also collected three hits in a 3-for-5 performance with a triple, two RBI and a run scored.
Mateo Lamas (4-0) picked up the win in relief tossing the final two innings giving up two runs with one being earned on two hits and one walk.
UP NEXTBoth teams return to the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex on UAPB’s campus on Saturday for a single, nine-inning affair with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.