Arguably the biggest series thus far for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions baseball program this season is upon them as they welcome in the Texas Southern University Tigers this weekend.
UAPB and Texas Southern have a long, drawn-out rivalry that has continued to be competitive every year. For UAPB Head Coach Carlos James and his guys, this series can ultimately decide if they're able to gain the No. 1 seed out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division.
At this point, the Golden Lions sit in third place of the Western Division Standings. Texas Southern leads at 13-4, and Grambling is right behind them at 13-8. This weekend Grambling is off, but their last series of the season is against Texas Southern. With UAPB at 9-7 in conference, three wins could put them right there, and a split could keep them alive.
The Golden Lions took down a big-time Little Rock Trojans team 7-4 on Tuesday, and James is hoping that keeps them going for the final stretch.
"They're huge games for us," James said of the Texas Southern series. "As we are sitting behind Grambling at 9-7, they're 13-8, and Texas Southern is 13-4. If we can get a sweep, and get hot, we can find ourselves winning the division and being a No. 1 out of the West. Getting a win over Little Rock, a top 50 RPI team in the country, it says something."
The Golden Lions and Texas Southern will start the series at 3 p.m. Friday. They'll come back and play game two at 2 p.m. Saturday and finish the series with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday. All games of the series will be played at the Torii Hunter Complex at UAPB.
James wants the Golden Lions fans to come out to support and urge his guys on.
"I hope everyone can come out this weekend and support us," James said. "We're going to need it. If we can get more support we can build something special here at UAPB."