Texas Southern scored three runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth to break open a slugfest against Southern on Saturday at Lee-Hines Field, winning 14-10 to even the teams’ final weekend series of the regular season.
In a battle between the third- and fourth-place teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division, Southern (14-27, 12-11) dug out of an early hole and took a 5-3 lead after three innings — but TSU (11-32, 10-13) mounted a three-run rally in the top of the fourth, then scored two runs each in the fifth and sixth.
The Jaguars, trying to keep pace, sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth, scoring four runs.
But the Tigers took advantage of erratic Southern pitching for much of the afternoon, to the tune of 15 hits, seven walks and three hit batters.
Mykel Page (1-1), one of five Jaguars pitchers, allowed two runs in one-third of an inning.
Adolf Castillo (1-2) earned the win in relief, allowing one run in 3⅔ innings.
Southern trailed 14-9 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Zavier Moore’s sacrifice fly brought home Taj Porter, but the game ended one batter later.
Judah Wilbur was 3 for 6 with two runs, three RBIs and three steals for Southern. Porter, Moore and A.J. Walter drove in two runs apiece.
Texas Southern catcher Juan Sanchez was 2 for 4 with a run and three RBIs. Justin Cooper hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
With just one Western Division game remaining in the regular season, Southern can neither move up or down in the standings. The Jaguars will be the No. 3 West seed when the SWAC tournament begins May 19 in Huntsville, Alabama.
The teams close out their weekend series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lee-Hines Field.
Southern finishes its regular season at 6 p.m. Tuesday at UL-Lafayette.