Grambling goes unbeaten at UAPB in baseball, soccer

Jason Alvarez struck out nine UAPB batters in a quality outing Saturday. Photo by TAYTAPES870, courtesy GSUTIGERS.COM.

Staff Writer

Grambling’s weekend in Pine Bluff went as well as possible, although the Lady Tigers’ soccer team didn’t come home with the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season championship.

The Tigers baseball team extended its roll by sweeping UAPB in a three-game series. Friday, the GSU soccer squad rallied for a 3-2 triumph at UAPB but that night, Alabama State netted an overtime goal to edge Alabama A&M 2-1 and secure the SWAC crown.

BASEBALL: James Cooper’s club won its fourth straight overall and extended its SWAC streak to six straight, while celebrating for the ninth time in the last 11 contests after Sunday’s victory over the Golden Lions.

The G-Men (9-14, 6-3) rolled 11-1 in Friday’s opener, then scratched out an 11-8 triumph Saturday and a 7-5 decision in the getaway game Sunday.

Kerry Boykins Jr. shut down the Golden Lions Friday as sophomore catcher Kevin Breaux scored three times while cracking a pair of hits and driving in two for the Tigers.

Joseph Gunn, who homered twice in a 15-3 rout of ULM Tuesday, lashed another circuit clout in the romp. Chrystian Mervilus doubled with the bases jammed and was left standing alone at second to highlight a five-run seventh.

Boykins (3-1) scattered five hits in six innings, and fanned five.

Saturday, the Tigers hung up a seven-run eighth inning to erase a 5-3 deficit and held off a surge by the home team.

Rafael Ramirez, Jeremy Almaguer and Gerald Nervis Jr. each drove in two runs for Grambling, while Cameron Bufford scored three times and had a pair of hits. Almaguer doubled in a pair in the eighth while Nervis plated two with a base hit.

Jason Alvarez (2-1) struck out nine UAPB hitters in seven innings and allowed only three earned runs.

On Easter, Grambling pitchers Antoine Valerio (3-1) and Kaelin Woodard hung up goose eggs in the final six innings and the Tigers pushed away from a 5-all stalemate with single runs in the fifth and eighth innings.

GSU scored an unearned run in the fifth to move on top, and after singling in a run in the fourth, Jahmoi Percival homered four innings later to provide some insurance. Gunn got Grambling going, continuing his hot streak with a two-run double in the first inning.

Valerio worked five innings and allowed just one hit. Woodard set down all three hitters he saw in the bottom of the ninth.

The Tigers host Southern next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

SOCCER: Grambling trailed 2-0 but roared to life as star striker Kailey Pena scored twice, tying the contest and netting the winner late in regulation as the Lady Tigers won their fourth straight.

GSU (6-2-1, 6-1-1) is the No. 2 seed in the SWAC Tournament beginning Thursday and will meet UAPB again in the opening round at 5:30 at Prairie View.

In the regular-season wrapper Friday, homestanding UAPB scored two first-half goals before Grambling’s comeback began. Miranda Urbizu found the net for the Lady Tigers with five minutes left in the half to cut the deficit in half.

Pena recorded the equalizer five minutes into the second half, then averted overtime by scoring in the 86th minute off a brilliant move in the box. That raised her season total to a SWAC-best 13 goals.

After allowing the first-half scores, Britt Verhees blanked the Golden Lions the rest of the afternoon, notching three saves.

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