Southern loses to Arkansas-Pine Bluff 8-1 in baseball

Southern could do little right Sunday in the final game of its weekend baseball series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

On the mound, starter Danny Garcia went only 3.2 innings as Southern fell into an early five-run hole.

On defense, the Jaguars committed one error in the third inning and two more in the fourth, the three miscues leading to four unearned runs out of UAPB’s first five.

At the plate, Southern’s hitters stranded 12 base runners.

It all added up to an 8-1 victory for UAPB at Lee-Hines Field — the second lopsided loss of the weekend for Southern as the Golden Lions took the series, two games to one.

“If we had a (game) tape, we would put a match to it and burn it,” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “We know what happened and how. You have to forget about it.”

Conversely, the Lions made the long bus ride back to Pine Bluff on Sunday night surely reliving what they hope will be remembered as a breakthrough weekend.

UAPB (10-19, 5-6) entered the weekend last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division standings and had lost two of three to Southern at home earlier this year.

After scoring a 9-1 win in the first game this weekend, the Lions bounced back from a tough 7-5 loss in the second game to keep Southern (12-12, 8-7) from winning its third straight SWAC series.

Five starters missed Sunday’s finale for Southern because of injuries.

“It’s a first for our program,” UAPB coach Carlos James said. “You can probably go back through the history of our program, and we surely had never won a series (at Southern) before. This is huge for our program, to say that we’re here and can compete with anybody in the SWAC going forward.”

Tyler Oertle led UPAB at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Mike Wieland and Warren Stehn each finished 2-for-4 and combined for three RBIs.

Southern pounded out 10 hits, but its only run came when Tyler Kirksey scored Kevin Williams with a double in the fifth.

Kirksey finished 2-for-4. Williams was 3-for-4 with a triple.

UAPB starter Kyle Schwartz struck out eight in 6.1 innings, then gave way to former Southern pitcher Stanten Jones, who gave up only one hit in two shutout innings. Redmond Floyd entered with one out in the ninth and, after allowing a Marcus Tomlin single, got the next two batters in order.

“Our players right now just are not relaxed with swinging with runners in scoring position,” Cador said. “We’ve got to do a better job of that.”

UAPB got its first run after a throwing error by Southern catcher Jose De La Torre in the third, then broke the game open with four runs in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.

The first and fourth runs of the fourth came on throwing errors by Tomlin at short.

Regular shortstop Jeremy Lopez and center fielder Gavin Webster joined a long list of Southern players missing in action. Webster suffered a hamstring injury the first day of the series. Cador said Lopez was ill.

“But you have to give (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) all the credit,” Cador said. “They were the better team this weekend. They beat us in every phase of the game.”

The Jaguars have no time to catch their breath.

Their midweek schedule includes games against second-ranked LSU on back-to-back nights, beginning Tuesday at Zephyr Field in Metairie and finishing Wednesday at Alex Box Stadium.