Gabriel Vasquez hit a two-RBI walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth as TSU claimed the series over Southern by a 10-9 margin Sunday at MacGregor Park.
Southern’s Nathaniel Lai opened the second with a solo homer to center for the early 1-0 lead but TSU quickly went ahead in the bottom half as Tyrese Clayborne tripled and scored on Justin Cooper’s RBI single. Three batters later, Jeremy Gaines gave TSU its first lead of the day as his RBI single scored Cooper.
Southern would answer with a run in the third for a 2-2 game but Johnathon Thomas opened the third with a solo homer to move TSU ahead 3-2. The lead would grow to 6-2 in the fourth after CJ Castillo’s three-run homer.
TSU starter Brian Williams cruised along until the seventh as Southern’s O’Neill Burgos hit a three-RBI double with two outs to draw SU within 6-5. Southern reliever Mykel Page stymied TSU’s bats for three hitless innings until the seventh as Gaines would hit a huge solo homer to open the inning to move TSU ahead 7-5. The eighth wasn’t too kind for TSU as SU recorded four hits and walked twice as TSU was forced to used three pitchers in the inning for a 9-7 Jaguar lead.
Jeremy Almaguer opened the eighth with a leadoff walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Tyrese Clayborne hit a single to move Almaguer over and eventually stole second. Pinch hitter Tyler Williams hit a huge sac fly to cut the deficit to 9-8.
SU drew a leadoff walk in the ninth which led to another TSU pitching change. Alex Olguin came out of the pen sizzling as he struck out the first two batters and forced an inning-ending foulout.
With one out in the ninth, CJ Castillo drew a walk and moved over a base after a wild pitch. Johnathon Thomas singled to left which set up Vasquez’s 2-2 two-RBI double to right for the emotional win.
Gaines, Castillo, Thomas, Clayborne and Cooper all had two hits while Castillo had three RBI followed by two from Gaines and Vasquez.
Olguin won his first game of the year with two strikeouts in one inning of work while Williams led TSU with six strikeouts over seven innings.
TSU is back in action on Friday at Arkansas-Pine Bluff for a 3 p.m. start.