Tigers win 8th straight conference game with 2 victories over Jags on Saturday
By Grambling State Habtom Keleta-Asst. AD for Media Relations,
GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling Tigers’ conference hot streak continued with a 12-9 victory over rival Southern in game one of the Southwestern Athletic Conference weekend series only to be followed up with a 14-6 victory in game two at Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park. The latter win is Grambling’s eighth SWAC victory in a row.
Grambling 12 Southern 9
The Jaguars jumped out on top early to the tune of six runs in the first inning, including two home runs on GSU pitcher Kerry Boykins, Jr. However, the Tigers (10-15 overall, 7-3 SWAC) responded with two runs in the bottom stanza as Cameron Phelts and Cameron Bufford both scored for Grambling.
The next three innings were scoreless for both sides before the Jaguars extended its lead to 7-2 with a home run in the fifth inning. Grambling answered back with four runs in the bottom stanza to cut the deficit to 7-6 as Phelts and Bufford scored again as well as teammates Jordyn Smith and Rafael Ramirez, III.
In the sixth inning, Grambling redshirt sophomore Keylon Mack generated a solo home run to bring the game to a 7-7 tie. The Jaguars responded with two runs in the seventh to take a 9-7 lead.
The Tigers answered back with a five-run explosion in the bottom stanza as Jeremy Almaguer produced a 2-RBI single to left field that scored fellow Tigers Smith and Jahmoi Percival, bringing the score to 9-9. Moments later, Chrystian Mervilus smacked a 3-run bomb to left field to give Grambling the lead for good.
GSU’s JC Bonilla (1-4) earned his first victory of the year and allowed just two hits in two innings on the mound, striking out one Jaguar batter in the win.
Grambling 14 Southern 6
In the first inning, Phelps began with a home run as the Tigers scored a total of runs. The Jaguars countered with three runs in the third inning before GSU responded with three additional runs in the bottom stanza to take a 6-3 lead as Mack hit his second home run of the day; this time a 2-run shot to right field.
Mervilus and Percival added runs in the fourth inning to give Grambling an 8-3 lead, but Southern answered back with three runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-5 in favor of the G-Men.
Grambling poured in four runs in the sixth inning, including a 2-RBI single to right field from Mervilus that drove home teammates Mack and Almaguer.
Bufford and Ben Avila each added an insurance run in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively, to run away with the game.
Senior pitcher Jason Alvarez (2-2) earned his second win of the season as he struck out a total of seven Jaguar batters in seven innings of work and allowed six runs on four hits.
As a team, the Tigers (11-15 overall, 8-3 SWAC) generated a whopping 19 hits while allowing just five for the Jaguars.
Redshirt junior Almaguer led Grambling as he finished with a total of six-RBI in the two victories, batting 3-for-4 with 3-RBI and two runs in game two.
Graduate student Percival had a solid outing at the plate in game two, finishing 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one-RBI.
Grambling State will continue its weekend series on Sunday, April 11 as it looks to complete the sweep against Southern in game three. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park.