FRISCO, Texas — A bases-loaded triple by Tremaine Spears highlighted a five-run seventh inning as Southern rallied past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-5 to complete a three-game sweep in the Lone Star Diamond Classic.
Southern (7-12, 7-2 SWAC) won 11-7 on Friday and 15-8 on Saturday in the series played at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Double-A Frisco Roughriders. The win keeps Southern in first-place in the SWAC West standings ahead of Grambling (4-12, 4-3) and Texas Southern (5-16, 4-5).
“It was a good experience to come here and get a sweep,” Southern coach Chris Crenshaw said. “The guys played hard all weekend.”
Crenshaw’s only lament was the performance by his starting pitchers, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Jaguars from finding a way to victory in each game.
“I wanted my starting pitching to do a little better, but the relief pitching was strong,” Crenshaw said.
On Sunday, Joe Battaglia started, and eventually gave way to Khristian Paul, who got the win.Enrique Ozoa closed out the game to earn the save.
Southern scored first pushing across two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. Arkansas-Pine Bluff answered with three runs in the bottom of the third and added two more in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
In the seventh, Southern didn’t start its rally until there were two outs.
Judah Wilbur singled and O’Neill Burgos reached base on an error before Taj Porter walked to load the bases. Spears followed with a triple to center that tied the game. With the game tied 5-5, the Golden Lions’ pitching staff had trouble finding the plate.
Southern used three walks and a hit batter to push across the final two runs on the at-bat and leave the game in the hands of its relievers.
Southern begins a three-game series at Texas Southern at 4 p.m. Thursday.