PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — They’re going to need a third game to decide this oh-so-tight Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division baseball series.
Southern and Prairie View dueled for 19 innings Saturday, with Prairie View winning the first game 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning and Southern winning the second game 3-1 in 10 innings.
Greg Salcido’s RBI single — after a pair of one-out singles from Walter Wells and Colby Hines — lifted the Panthers in the first game. And Marcus Tomlin and Caleb Hatcher had one-hit RBI singles to push the Jaguars to victory in the second game.
“Two dogfights. Two dogfights,” veteran Southern coach Roger Cador said. “Just really well played games.”
SU (10-10, 6-5 SWAC Western Division) and PV (13-9, 6-2) play again at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“Their defense is so beautiful,” Cador said of Prairie View. “They have some scrappy athletes that I love. They understand what they’re doing, and they do it well. ... Guys who are supposed to knock in runs do it.”
PRAIRIE VIEW 3, SOUTHERN 2: Prairie View starter Johnathon Mata struck out seven in seven innings, and reliever A.J. Helms (1-0) pitched two perfect innings to get the win.
Southern starter Jesse Holiday struck out three in 5.2 innings but allowed nine hits as Prairie View stranded 11.
Wells went 3-for-5 and had the game-winning run, while Brett Valley went 3-for-4 with a run to lead Prairie View.
In the second, Gavin Webster’s RBI single gave Southern a 1-0 lead before Prairie View got a groundout RBI from Andre Oliver and a Trey Price RBI single to take a 2-1 lead.
Tomlin scored on a two-out error to tie the game at 2-2 in the third, with that score standing until Prairie View broke through in the ninth.
SOUTHERN 3, PRAIRIE VIEW 1, 10 INNINGS: Four of Southern’s nine hits came in the 10th inning — and all came in a row.
After Jeremy Lopez and Sean Washington singled to get on base, Tomlin and Hatcher drove them in with singles.
“We were able to put four hits together and got two runs,” Cador said. “The kids didn’t give in. We had a ton of at-bats, but we got some good ones when we needed them.”
Jose DeLeon allowed one run in eight innings, and Josh Powell (1-0) struck out two and allowed two hits in two innings to earn the win.
“Jose DeLeon pitched a gem of a game,” Cador said.
PV starter Stef Hernandez struck out five in eight innings.
Webster’s two-out RBI single gave the Jaguars a 1-0 lead in the fourth, and Prairie View tied the game when Jeff Sealy scored on a fielder’s choice in the seventh.
“We didn’t turn the double-play ball, but execution is all a part of it,” Cador said.