GRAMBLING, La. – For the second straight day, TSU remained hot at the plate and set up an interesting regular-season finale as they won the series over Grambling State after a 16-8 win.
TSU continued its aggressive mentality from the opening pitch at the plate as Johnathon Thomas opened the first with an RBI as Jeremy Gaines scored after leading the game off with a walk. Tyrese Clayborne drove in the game’s second run on a single to score Thomas as TSU led 2-0.
The Tigers did their best work with their backs on the wall in the second as all runs came with two outs. The bases were loaded after CJ Castillo’s walk which caused a pitching change. The inning was initially over after Jeremy Almaguer’s strikeout but a wild pitch extended the inning and led to a pair of TSU runs as they led 4-0. Thomas was hit by a pitch and Clayborne made GSU pay with a two-RBI single for a 6-0 lead.
Grambling State trimmed the lead in half with a three-run fourth which was aided by a pair of TSU errors. However, TSU quickly recovered as Gabriel Vasquez opened the fifth with a leadoff triple followed by Justin Cooper’s walk. Roderick Coffee delivered the jugular with a three-run homer as TSU led 9-3.
TSU had the rare back-to-back triples to open the sixth as Thomas and Clayborne opened the sixth with triples with the latter leading to a 10-3 lead. GSU was forced to change pitchers again but TSU kept the scoring up with a sac fly from Vasquez as they led 11-3.
TSU closed out the game with five runs in the eighth for further insurance to claim its first series over Grambling State since 2020.
Clayborne led TSU with a 3-for-6 afternoon with a run and four RBI. Gaines went 2-for-2 with three walks while Almaguer, Vasquez, Rueben Bennevendo, and Coffee had two hits. Vasquez, Coffee and Almaguer also had multiple RBI.
For the second straight game, the Tigers had an opportunity to rest most of its pitching staff as five pitchers saw action led by Adolf Castillo’s four strikeouts over four innings.
With the win, an interesting scenario has developed as TSU is one game out of first place but all four teams in the SWAC West are a game out from fourth and the final seed also. The Tigers close out the 2022 regular season against Prairie View A&M on Friday evening at MacGregor Park as seeding for the SWAC Tournament is on the line.
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