NEW ORLEANS – Texas Southern overcame an early three-run deficit to defeat Southern 8-6 in the 2019 SWAC Baseball Tournament. The win means that the Tigers and Jaguars will face off once again tomorrow for a spot in the finals.
After Texas Southern scrapped together a run via a O.J. Oloruntimilehin RBI sacrifice fly to open the game, Southern responded as Johnny Johnson delivered a one-out single and stole second. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Ashanti Wheatley brought Johnson home with a single to left.
Hunter David followed with a RBI single to score Wheatley, and Southern loaded the bases with two outs. There, Coby Taylor was hit by a pitch to bring in another run, and a wild pitch scored David.
Ryan Diaz answered for TSU in the second, driving in Jordan Hollins – who singled to lead off the inning – with a RBI single. In the third, Texas Southern continued to inch closer as the Tigers loaded the bases before Keanu Van Kuren scored Tyson Thompson with a RBI groundout that also resulted in a double play.
Texas Southern was unable to push another across, and Coby Taylor smacked a pitch over the right field wall to make it 5-3 in favor of Southern.
The Tigers continued to lurk, manufacturing another run in the top of the fifth. Southern threatened to create more breathing room but stranded runners at second and third. After Texas Southern’s Chris Suarez was hit by a pitch and Diaz laid down a bunt single, Thompson reached due to being hit by a pitch to load the bases and Christian Sanchez cashed in with a two-run single.
Oloruntimilehin reached via catcher’s interference, wiping out a Southern double play. Thompson then scored on a wild pitch.
With Aron Solis on in relief for the defending champions, Wheatley singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh and later scored during a fielder’s choice. Texas Southern got the run back after Sanchez singled, stole second and scored on an Oscar Ponce RBI single.
Javeyan Williams slapped a double to the right field wall to lead off the bottom of the eighth for the Jaguars, moving to third on a flyout to deep center. However, Solis kept the Jaguars off the board the rest of the way to set up the Saturday clash.
– Sanchez was 2-for-5 with two runs and a pair of RBIs.
– Solis collected a four-inning save, striking out four.
– The teams combined for 20 hits and 21 runners stranded.