The top of the batting order shone bright on Sunday afternoon as Texas Southern claimed the series over Grambling State after a 13-5 road win. Sunday’s result ensured TSU’s first series win in Grambling since 2015.
From the leadoff hitter to the cleanup man, TSU combined for 11 hits out of the team’s 16. Tyrese Clayborne went for two hits, two runs, an RBI and a stolen base in his 2-for-6 performance. Shortstop Justin Cooper followed suit with the same stat line: 2-for-6 for two runs and an RBI. First baseman Oscar Ponce continued his hot streak from yesterday with a 4-for-4 showing that included a double, a reached base from a hit-by-pitch, four runs scored and two RBIs. Left fielder Dean Salazar rounded out the sweet-swinging quartet with his three-double, two-run, three-RBI outing that further solidified TSU’s superiority in the game.
Starter Jacob Morin made a quality start by going six innings for six hits, eight strikeouts and three earned runs. In relief, Paul Kindervater, Robert Loza and Jesse Garcia were called to close the game.
Repeating the same process as the last game, the Tigers (5-12, 4-2) went ahead after two batters thanks to efficient and clever base-running by Clayborne. After reaching on a single, he stole second base and advanced home from a throwing error by the opposing catcher, opening the scoring. Following a Ponce double and a Charles Robinson walk, third baseman Nic Garza raked his team’s second run from a base hit to right which sent the leading runner home.
Grambling (6-8, 1-2) organized a brisk response in the bottom half of the first after a couple of singles, the first to left and the second to right, which allowed them to take the lead at its minimum for 3-2.
From then on, TSU ran away from Grambling with the game in hand by scoring eight runs over the next four innings. In the third, Robinson notched his only RBI from a sac fly to center and Garza drove another single to bring one more in and retake the lead 4-3. The fourth featured two singles by Cooper and Ponce as Jordan Vidato and Cooper scored for a 6-3 margin. Texas Southern scored four more runs in the top of the sixth after Ponce’s third single and Salazar’s 2-RBI double, which blew the game open for them. Succeeding that, TSU tacked on three more runs in the eighth and ninth after Salazar’s third RBI double and Vidato’s passed ball sequence.
For Grambling, they scored their last two runs from a single to left in the eighth and a bases-loaded walk in the ninth with one out left in the game.
The Tigers will play their next set of games at home in a doubleheader on Tuesday against Huston-Tillotson at MacGregror Park. The first pitch will be thrown at 1 p.m. with the second contest occurring approximately 30 minutes after game one.