With the Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball team three games behind Texas Southern for the final spot in the SWAC tournament in the West division, every game is important.

With the Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball team three games behind Texas Southern for the final spot in the SWAC tournament in the West division, every game is important.

UAPB had a chance to potentially make up some ground after winning the first game against Prairie View A&M 5-2, but the Lions dropped game No. 2 9-4.

“We didn’t take advantage of the win Praire View gave us,” UAPB coach Carlos James said. “We had a chance to come out and sweep, and we were satisfied after the first game.

“You can’t do that given the situation and how crucial each ball game is down the stretch. You got to come out and play with more urgency.”

UAPB (8-33-1, 6-14 SWAC) got off on the right foot in the doubleheader thanks to Jordan Sechler’s pitching.

Sechler was spotted a 3-0 lead after the first inning, which is all he would need. Sechler pitched seven shutout innings for the Lions and allowed just six hits while striking out six batters.

“Jordan came out and threw well and gave us a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for,” James said. “He has been dominating all year, I think, when he is on the mound, and he just hasn’t had the luxury of us scoring runs.”

James was not the only one signing Sechler’s praises. He caught the eye of Prairie View’s Waskyla Cullivan before the game even started.

“He did a great job and he is one of their top guys all season,” he said. “We came out sluggish on the defensive end and they scored some runs on our mistakes.”

UAPB added a run each in the second and third innings for the 5-0 lead. Prairie View (21-20, 12-7) did not get on the board until the ninth inning when it scored two runs.

Stanton Jones relieved Sechler in the eighth inning and finished off Prairie View. He went two innings, gave up two runs, walked four batters and struck out two.

Sean Samsa went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, Eddie Williams drove in two runs, Christian Weeber had an RBI and a run scored and James Boulware drove in one run.

Redmond Floyd started the second game for UAPB and got the first four batters out before running into trouble. He gave up two runs in the second and the third innings and one more in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.

“Prairie View is a good hitting team,” James said. “You can’t leave balls up, and they hit balls hard.”

In the first four innings, Prairie View pitcher Stef Hernandez held UAPB to one hit in the first four innings.

“It was a tale of two different games,” Cullivan said. “Stef did a good job of minimizing the hits and we extended the lead from there.”

Jacob Whitney drove in a run in the fifth inning and Boulware scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2 Prairie View. But the Panthers put the game out of reach with three runs in seventh and one run in the eighth.

Williams did drive in two runs in the bottom of the ninth with a double before the Boulware and Whitney each struck out to end the game.

“No one cares about what you did the game before,” James said. “You always have to bring it each game.”