The Golden Lions baseball team is in a peculiar situation after dropping two out of three to the Southern Jaguars this past weekend. Now, hopes of playing in the SWAC post season tournament rests on the outcome of the Southern and Texas Southern game. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff head coach Carlos James said he feels his team wouldn't be in this situation if they had profited from their chances against Southern.
Currently, the Golden Lions are sitting in fourth place of the SWAC Western Division. However, only the top four teams from each division make it to the SWAC tournament, and a Southern win over Texas Southern in a make-up game this weekend eliminates the Golden Lions.
"We didn't take advantage of scoring chances," James said. "In both losses we had runners on base and didn't capitalize. We had a chance to put the game away in the first game with the bases loaded, and we had that same chance in the second loss. That's not good baseball, that doesn't allow you to be successful. We'd like to have come out and won two out of three but we didn't. We won that last one to get a opportunity to get in, and we can't do anything but go forward. We'll get in and we'll realize we can take nothing for granted, or we won't, and the guys coming back will know that we cant leave nothing at chance."
The final home game of the season for UAPB happens to be a non-conference game against The University of Central Arkansas. The Golden Lions and the Bears play on a yearly basis, so they're pretty familiar with each other. It's been a while since the Golden Lions have topped UCA, and to do it in the same year that they took down The University of Arkansas at Little Rock would be special.
"You're playing UCA, you'd like to come out and have a good showing," James said. "We havn't beat them since 2015, and it would be great to get a win. If we can come back and beat them after beating Little Rock earlier would be something to build on. We know some of those guys over there, and it should be competitive and fun."
The elephant in the room is that the Golden Lions need Texas Southern to beat Southern in order to continue their season after the UCA game. However, James said he just wants his guys to give it all they have.
"I want to see energy," James said. "Knowing what they've been through, they know that you cant take anything for granted. They literally have to understand this could be our last game. If we get a shot to get into the tournament, we need momentum, and there's a lot to play for."
UAPB and UCA are set for a 3 p.m. start today at the Torii Hunter Complex.