Southern University broke its seven-game losing streak Friday night and Saturday perhaps finally broke out of its hitting slump.
The Jaguars scored six runs in the seventh inning to overtake Arkansas-Pine Bluff and cruise to an 11-5 victory in the second game for a split of a SWAC doubleheader at Lee-Hines Field.
Zavier Moore had a two-run double and A.J. Walter a two-run single in the big seventh inning to make a winner of Wilhelm Allen (4-2), who pitched 4⅓ innings and allowed one run in relief of starter Jacob Snyder. Moore had three hits and four RBIs for the game and Walter also knocked in three.
“We’ve been playing and struggling and we just needed a spark,” Moore said. “We found one and it was contagious after that. We’ve been dealing with adversity all season. We just need to find ways to break through it. We need to take this and build off of it.”
Southern (13-25, 11-10 in SWAC play) had 12 hits in the night cap. UAPB dropped to 5-30, 5-14.
The hitting struggles continued in a 6-3 first game loss as Southern managed only seven hits against the Lions who entered the game last in the league in earned run average and runs allowed. Tony Horn pitched the final 4⅓ innings to get the victory.
“It’s been three weeks of offensive struggles,” Southern coach Chris Crenshaw said. “It was finally good to get something together offensively with hits and moving the ball.
“The kids found a way to get something going. The relief pitchers came in put zeroes up. That’s what we expect them to do. We’ve got guys growing up toward the end of the year.”
UAPB 6, SOUTHERN 3: On top of having only seven hits, Southern struck out 11 times with only two walks against three Lion pitchers. The Jaguars played from behind most of the day and had only one inning with more than one hit while UAPB had 14 hits.
Southern catcher William Nelson’s first homer made it 5-3 in the seventh and singles by A.J. Walter and Judah Wilbur put the tying runs on with two out. But Horn (2-4) retired Taj Porter on a fly to right field and set down the next six Southern batters in order, four on strikeouts, to close out the game.
UAPB took a 2-0 lead in the fourth against Southern starter Jerome Bohannon on back to back double by Timothy Martin Dante Leach and a sacrifice fly by Bryce Roesch. A two-run double by Martin made it 4-0 in the fifth when Southern answered with two runs.
Nelson started the inning with a walk and stole second. Jovante Dorris singled to left and Nelson scored when left fielder Kacy Higgins bobbled the ball. Dorris went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
Dillen Miller worked out of two jams in the next two innings but UAPB padded its lead on a triple by Leach and a double by pinch hitter Braelin Hence. DeClaudio Irvin hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth off Mykel Page to widen the lead.
SOUTHERN 11 UAPB 5: The Jaguars took a 2-1 lead in the first inning on a balk and a run-scoring single by Moore. Edwin Delacruz game the lead back to the visitors with a two-run double and Kacy Higgins made it 4-2 with a solo homer in the fourth. Higgins also had two triples, two RBI and two runs scored.
Southern made it 4-3 on an RBI groundout but finally broke through against Horn, who came on to pitch in the second game because of UPPB’s shortage of pitchers.
Wilbur led off Southern’s seventh with a single and one out later, Porter doubled him home to tie the game. Spears walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Moore gave Southern the lead for good with a double down the left field line. A walk, a single and a sacrifice fly by Jaylon Armstrong brought in another run before Walter brought in two more with a base hit to left.
Moore and Colton Frank had run-scoring doubles in the eighth as the Jaguars padded their lead. The 11 runs were the most since a 15-8 victory against UAPB on March 27.