Grambling bats come alive as Tigers slam Southern to win SWAC series finale

Grambling bats come alive as Tigers slam Southern to win SWAC series finale
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Southern got off to the kind of beginning coach Chris Crenshaw was looking for, but everything fell apart after that in Sunday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference series finale against Grambling on Sunday.

The Jaguars coughed up an early lead and fell flat after Grambling took control with a seven-run fourth inning in a 13-6 loss at Lee-Hines Field

Southern led 5-2 after two innings but starting pitcher Jalon Long struggled with his control. He left the game after his bases-loaded walk tied it and two batters later, Grambling catcher Julian Murphy hit a grand slam off Jaden Brasseaux to cap the inning for a 10-5 lead.

The Jaguars came back with a run in the bottom half of the fourth on the second of two run-scoring singles by O’Neil Burgos. But the Jaguars failed to score again despite getting two runners on base in each of the five remaining innings.

Southern (13-21, 8-7 SWAC) left 13 runners stranded Sunday and 32 for the weekend. Grambling (18-20, 13-4) gained a game in the SWAC West Division standings with the series win.

“It started the way I wanted it to,” Southern coach Chris Crenshaw said. “We couldn’t muster anything after that. It’s been that kind of year. Every time we walked them, they scored. Our starting pitcher didn’t give us nothing, but we’ve still got to be able to come back and score after that. We can’t just lay down.

“We had a couple of opportunities to do something, we couldn’t get a bunt down — that was a two-run swing. We could have had runners at second and third — and you never know what the at-bat is going to be with runners on second and third — then they come back and get two (outs).”

That swing in momentum came in the fifth with the score 11-6. Rashard Grace walked, and Hunter Tabb beat out a bunt to lead off, but Jah’li Hendricks fouled out after twice trying to advance the runners with a bunt. Jonathan Evans struck out and KJ White popped out to shortstop to end the inning.

Long was disappointing with six walks, six hits and seven earned runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings. Overall, Southern pitching walked nine, hit two batters and threw three wild pitches while surrendering nine hits.

Drew Lasseigne was a bright spot with three scoreless innings and four strikeouts. Burgos raised his season batting average to .280 with three hits. Armstrong and Evans had two each.

The Jaguars started the game with singles by Quincy Smith, Jaylen Armstrong and Burgos for a 1-0 lead. Another run scored on an error and Gustavo Nava Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Grambling answered with two runs in the second but Armstrong singled to score two for a 5-2 lead in the second.

“We can definitely bounce back,” Lasseigne said. “We’ve got a lot of talent over here. We lost a close one on Saturday and won a close one Friday. We came out and kind of dropped the ball today. We’re trying to get better.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1340 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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