Grambling Tigers Baseball Wins First Home Game Over Panthers

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GRAMBLING, La. – Opening Day at R.W.E Jones Park at Wilbert Ellis for the Grambling State University Tigers baseball team went as scripted.  Grambling legend and former baseball coach Wilbert Ellis tossed out the first pitch, Grambling State tempo produced five first inning runs and the Tigers took down Prairie View A&M 6-1, Friday night.

GSU one and two hitters, shortstop Marshawn Taylor and second baseman Wesley Drain were incredible at the plate. Taylor hit 1-for-3, with two walks and a stolen base. Drain hit 4-for-5 with four stolen bases. Tigers’ pitcher Tanner Raiburn earned the win, making swift work of the Panthers. In six complete innings, Raiburn allowed just one run and Marlon Pruitt closed out the win for Grambling.

Heading into Friday night Grambling State played 24 straight road games. After the win, Grambling State Head coach James Cooper said, “It felt good to be back at home. We were able to get the big hits when we needed them. Hats off to Tanner Raiburn for pitching a great game. He went six innings and only gave up one run. When you look at Marlon Pruitt, who came out of the bullpen, he pitched three innings and didn’t give up any runs. Any time you can limit a team’s offense pitching wise, it’s much easier to come out with a win.”

Taylor and Drain had big performances stated Cooper. “Both those guys have speed, they can bunt the ball and steal bases. Their base hit guys, they’re not guys who are going to do too much at the plate. They did a good job of setting the tone for us offensively.  Overall, we played exceptionally well. ”

Taylor led of the five run first inning with a single though the left side and then stole second. Drain singled and stole second, Taylor advanced to third.  DH Tray Bell singled to right field scoring Taylor. Right fielder Nick Wheeler doubled to center and Drain scored. Leading 2-0, catcher Johan Mojica stepped to a plate. Mojica smashed a pitch to left center hitting a light pole for a three-run homerun.

“We played well tonight,” said Drain. “We came out and put five on the board really quick. Marshawn (Taylor) got us started and we came out with a good tempo.  When you come out with a good tempo good things happen. Tanner (Raiburn) threw well, limited the walks and good things happen when you try to get a win. ”

“The five-run inning was big for us” said Taylor. “We haven’t put up five runs in an inning this season, that was big. With a good performance like that, it was a big eye opener for the crowd.”

Grambling State will play a double header tomorrow at 1pm and 3pm against the Prairie View A&M Panthers at Wilbert Ellis Field.

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