The Grambling State men’s baseball team finished 2-1 in a three game matchup against Prairie View A&M March 8-10.
Grambling State (6-7 overall, 3-1 SWAC) took the series opener and came within a run of earning its first shutout victory since they blew out Texas College 17-0 on April 25, 2016.
Game 1 – Friday, March 8.
After four scoreless innings, GSU broke the 0-0 tie in the fifth inning.
With one down in the frame, Kevin Whitaker, Jr. walked on an Ian Bailey double down the left field line. After Isaiah Torres struck out, Richard Ortiz doubled to left, scoring Bailey from second giving GSU a 2-0 lead.
GSU extended the lead to 9-0 with seven runs in the sixth inning.
Garrett Smith opened the frame with a base hit and moved to third on a Jahmoi Pervical double to right. With two out, Whitaker walked to load the bases. Bailey followed with a bases clearing double to right center. Ortiz and Rafael Ramirez III drew back-to-back-to-back walks as Bailey scored from third. Smith, batting for the second time in the inning, tripled to right center to bring home Torres, Ortiz and Ramirez.
Prairie View A&M closed the gap to 9-1 with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, but it was not enough as GSU took the first win in the series.
Game 2 – Saturday, March 9
In game two, Prairie View A&M jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but GSU responded with six runs on four hits taking advantage of two errors to grab a 6-2 advantage in the top of the second.
Rafael Ramirez III began the frame with a base hit to right and moved to second on a Garrett Smith walk. Jahmoi Pervical singled as Ramirez scored. Drexler Macaay walked to load the bases and Kristian Franklin reached on an error, allowing Smith to score. Kevin Whitaker Jr. reached on a fielder’s choice as Pervical was out at third. Ian Bailey continued his strong outing at the plate with a double center to plate Macaay and Franklin. Isaiah Torres followed with a base hit to left as Whitaker scored.
The Panthers answered in the bottom of the second inning with four runs to tie the game 6-6. GSU plated one run in the third inning, but Prairie View A&M scored five in the bottom of the inning to grab an 11-7 lead.
The Tigers took the lead for good with a five-run sixth inning. With one down in the inning, Torres doubled to right center and scored on a Richard Ortiz single to center. Ramirez and Smith walked to load the bases. Jalin McMillian singled to right center to plate Ortiz.
With two down, Franklin hit a bases-clearing double to give Grambling State a 12-11 lead.
The Tigers added a run in the seventh inning when Bailey was hit by a pitch and scored on an Ortiz double.
Grambling notched a victory with a final score of 13-11.
Game 3 – Sunday, March 10
The Panthers opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning, but GSU answered and struck for six runs on five hits to grab a 6-1 lead.
GSU added to the lead in the top of the third inning.
Rafael Ramirez III walked to begin the frame and advanced to second when Sookdeo reached on an error. Felder moved the runners up on a sacrifice and Macaay followed with a base hit to center to score Ramirez. Kristian Franklin tripled as Sookdeo and Macaay scored as he was tagged trying to score as GSU increased the lead to 9-1.
The Panthers responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third inning to cut the lead to 9-4. GSU got a run back in the fourth inning as Macaay reached on a fielder’s choice as Ramirez came across to score, giving the Tigers a 10-4 lead.
GSU continued to put runs on the board as the Tigers added three runs on two hits and took advantage of one error in the fifth inning to stretch the lead to 13-4.
Back came Prairie View A&M in the bottom of the fifth inning with four runs and took the lead with seven runs on three errors and took advantage of a pair of Tiger errors to grab a 15-13 advantage. The Panthers added two more runs in the seventh and took a 17-13 lead into the eighth. GSU trimmed the deficit in the eighth with one run, but the seven-run sixth was tough to overcome as the Tigers dropped their second conference game.
GSU returns to action this weekend for a three game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park in Grambling, La.