Grambling State finishes 3-game weekend baseball sweep of UAPB

Grambling infielder Kyle Walker (7) runs after a hit during an NCAA baseball game in New Orleans in this Feb. 24, 2023 file photo. (AP/Matthew Hinton)
Grambling infielder Kyle Walker (7) runs after a hit during an NCAA baseball game in New Orleans in this Feb. 24, 2023 file photo. (AP/Matthew Hinton)


Grambling State swept a 3-game baseball series against the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Saturday and Sunday in Grambling, La.

The Tigers won 6-3 and 7-5 on Saturday before crushing UAPB 17-2 in seven innings Sunday.

It took 6 innings for either team to score in the first game Saturday, but Grambling State (8-13, 5-0 SWAC) finally broke through with a 3-run bottom of the sixth, thanks in part to a 2-run homer by Cameron Bufford. UAPB (9-15, 0-6) got a run back in the top of the seventh, but the Tigers added another 3 in the bottom half.

UAPB second baseman Drew Cates hit a 2-run homer in the top of the eighth, but neither team scored again.

Bufford was joined by Grambling State left fielder Tiger Borom in driving in two runs for Grambling State. Randy Reyes (2-3) earned the win in a 6.1-inning start with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. He allowed 1 run on 6 hits.

Jackson Charles picked up the save after entering with one out in the eighth. He did not allow a hit or a walk.

Lions starter Calvin McClendon (1-4) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing 6 runs on 9 hits. He struck out five batters and walked eight.

Both teams scored early in the second game. Grambling State led 4-1 after the second inning, but UAPB took its first lead of the series in the top of the third with five hits. Carlos Rodriguez-Velez gave UAPB the 5-4 advantage with a 2-RBI single after RBI hits by Malachi Jeffries and Edwin De La Cruz.

The lead held until the bottom of the seventh, when Grambling State plated 3 runs on 4 hits. Neither team scored in the final two innings as the Tigers clinched the series.

Rodriguez-Velez drove in 3 runs for UAPB off 2-for-4 hitting. Centerfielder Gavin Terry hit 3 for 5 with 2 runs. Starting pitcher Jacob Ehling (2-3) lasted 7 innings, allowing 7 runs on 13 hits. He struck out 5 without a walk.

Mason Martinez (4-1) went the distance for Grambling State, allowing 5 runs on 10 hits with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk.

UAPB scored first Sunday with a De La Cruz RBI single in the top of the first inning, but the Tigers scored 5 in the fifth, 6 in the second, 2 in the third and 4 in the fourth. UAPB substitute Maurice Edwards delivered an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but the Tigers easily clinched the game via the run-rule.

Grambling State designated hitter Julian Muphy hit 2 for 2 with 3 RBI and 2 runs. Catcher Chris Marcellus hit 1 for 2 with 3 RBIs and a run, and second baseman Kyle Walker hit 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and 4 runs.

Bryant Phillip (1-2) earned his first win for Grambling State with a 6-inning start in which he struck out 7 and walked 3. UAPB used 4 pitchers, starting with Jaedon Willis (1-3). He allowed 8 earned runs on 6 hits in 1 2/3 innings.

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