Southern University used a big inning late to beat Texas Southern in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament. The Jaguars were down the entire game. They have proven that patience is indeed a virtue. Southern has had a knack for slow starts on offense in 2019, only to show time and again the ability to rally in the late innings.
Southern did just that against Texas Southern. Overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the Tiger 10-9 during the 2019 (SWAC) Baseball Tournament.
Southern has a competitiveness that is number one. They executed late. They just are playing relentless baseball. It doesn’t matter how many they are down. Their compete tool has been to rally.
Texas Southern got on the score board first. Tyson Thompson led off the inning with a single down the left field line. Keanu Van Kuren’s single drove Thompson home for the games first run.
Southern responded in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler LaPorte got things started with double to right center field. Johnny Johnson singled to right field scoring LaPorte to knot the score at 1-1.
Texas Southern would get another run in the second inning on Nic Garza’s singled to right center. A Victor Cruz sacrifice bunt to the pitcher moved Garza to second. Chris Suarez reached on a fielding error by Southern shortstop Malik Blaise and Garza scored for a 2-1 lead.
Texas Southern would increase the lead with a big four run third inning. Olajide Oloruntimilehin doubled down the left field line and moved to third base when the umpire called a balk on Jaguars pitcher John Guienze Jr. Van Kuren flied out to right field scoring Oloruntimilehin. Jordan Hollins singled, Garza was hit by a pitch, Cruz singled to center field and Hollins scored. Suarez then doubled to left, scoring Cruz and Garza for a 6-1 lead.
Southern added a run in the bottom of the third. Tyler LaPorte led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an error by Tigers third basemen Van Kuren. Johnny Johnson fouled out to right field plated LaPorte. Ashanti Wheatley was hit by a pitch, Bobby Johnson singled to center field, Blaise singled through the left side, Wheatley scored cutting the deficit to 6-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, Southern designated hitter Coby Taylor homered to right field to make it a 6-4 ball game.
TSU would get a run back. Hollins walked and stole second, Garza’s second single of the game scored Hollins for a 7-4 advantage. They would add another in the six inning going up 8-4.
Southern would make it a three run game as Wheatley singled through the left side, advanced to second on an infield groundout and Blaise doubled to left center scoring Wheatley, making it an 8-5 affair.
In the top of the ninth, Texas Southern Oloruntimi blasted a home run to left field putting the Tigers up 9-5.
Trailing by four in the bottom of the ninth Southern’s Ashanti Wheatley led off the Jaguars with a solo home run. Both Blaise and Hudson singled up the middle. Taylor singled to right field, Hudson moved to third scoring Blaise. Willie Ward pinch ran for Taylor, stole second, Williams singled to right field scored both Ward and Hudson to tie the game at 9-9, all of this with two outs.
With the inning still alive, an intentional walk to LaPorte loaded the bases but Johnson struck out swinging sending the game into extras.
In the tenth, Texas Southern got a man on base with a single, but Southern killed any hope the Tigers had of plating a run with an inning ending double play.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, Southern concluded the rally on a bases loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of Hudson to overcome a four-run deficit and defeat Texas Southern 10-9 in the 2019 SWAC Baseball Tournament.
For Southern, LaPorte was 3 for 4, scoring 3 runs and Johnson was 2 for 5 with 2 run driven in. Blaise had 2 doubles and both Wheatley and Taylor hit homes runs. Connor Whalen (5-0) won the game in relief.