Diamond Tigers begin SWAC season with hot streak

Photo courtesy of GSU Athletics Communications

Grambling State’s baseball team started hot in Southwestern Athletic Conference play. 

The Tigers opened the season at 8-1 in conference play after securing a series win against Southern and two series sweep against Alcorn State and Arkansas Pine Bluff. 

Grambling defeated Southern two of the three game series to open conference play. 

Game One was an extra inning thriller ending with a walk-off single by Jose Vargas. In Game Two, the Tigers lost a nail biter that ended in extra innings. The Grambling offense exploded in Game Three against the Jaguars, scoring 16 runs and tallying 17 hits, winning in the seventh inning due to the 10-run rule. 

The Tigers then swept Alcorn State in a three-game series. Grambling won 20-3 in convincing fashion in Game One. Game Two was a close game, but the Tigers were able to hold on and win 7-6. Game Three was another solid performance by the Tigers, as they secured the series sweep 14-6 in a game early called due to inclement weather. 

Grambling secured another series sweep against Arkansas Pine Bluff. Game one was a close game until the Tigers offense exploded for eight runs in the top of the ninth inning. Grambling’s offense didn’t slow down in game two, as they won by run rule 19-6. Game three was a dominant performance offensively and pitching as the Tigers offense scored 11 runs and held UAPB to one run. 

Head coach Davin Pierre attributed the hot start to “being able to play complimentary baseball.” Coach Pierre credited the complimentary play to “pitching well and swinging the bats well.” While giving shoutouts to the offensive lineup, starting pitchers and bullpen.  

Grambling’s offense has been impressive in conference play. Offensively Grambling is led by Keylon Mack, Cameron Bufford, and Trevor Hatton. Mack is batting .621 with 18 hits, five doubles, and two home runs. Bufford is hitting .459 with 17 hits, six doubles, three triples, and two home runs. Hatton is batting .457 with 16 hits, four doubles, three triples, and two home runs. The Tigers also have three other batters hitting over .300. 

 The Tigers’ pitching staff is led by Lorenzo Peterson and Connor Rudy. Peterson is 2-0 in three starts striking out 12 batters in 17.2 innings pitched. Rudy is also 2-0 in three starts striking out 12 batters in 19 innings pitched.