NEW ORLEANS – The Tigers of Texas Southern University scored two runs in the ninth inning Wednesday and then scored the winning run in the 10th to stun Jackson State 5-4 in the opening round of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.
Oscar Ponce’s two-out single in the top of the 10th inning to score Olajide Oloruntimilehin from second base proved to be the winning run as TSU, the two-time defending SWAC Tournament champion, defeated Jackson State for the fifth consecutive time in postseason play dating back to 2017.
Aron Solis pitched a complete game for the Tigers, striking out seven batters while throwing 140 pitches over the 10-inning contest.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the top of the ninth inning, TSU began the inning with back-to-back singles from Jordan Hollins and Nic Garza. After a wild pitch from JSU closer Kevin Perez, Victor Cruz knocked a single to left field to score Hollins from third base. Chris Suarez then grounded into a double play, but the groundball allowed Garza to score from third base.
JSU loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Solis and the TSU infielders worked their way out of the jam. The first out came when Solis induced Tyler Culpepper into a groundball to third base, where Keanu Van Kuren threw to catcher Victor Cruz for the force out at home.
Solis then struck out Chandler Dillard on four pitches, and then got another groundball out to second base, where Suarez got the force out to end the frame and force extra innings.
With a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the 10th inning, Solis struck out the first batter, then induced a flyout. After walking Wesley Reyes, Solis struck Tyler Jones on three pitches to end the game.
Tyson Thompson went 3-for-5 with an RBI for Texas Southern. Christian Sanchez added an RBI on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning.
TSU will face Southern in a winner’s bracket game at 6 p.m. on Thursday.