TSUSports.com: Tiger bats come alive late Easter Sunday as TSU stuns Prairie View … again!

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    HOUSTON – The Tigers of Texas Southern University scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of in-state rival Prairie View A&M with an 8-6 win.

    Gaudencio Lucca's (pictured) three-run home run to left-centerfield with two outs in the ninth also scored Kamren Dukes and Richard Alamo and gave the Tigers (13-23, 11-6 SWAC) their second comeback win over the Panthers in as many days.

    The Tigers had trailed 6-3 going into the final inning, but cut the lead to one when Blake Hicks homered down the left-field line with one out and Jose Cabreja on base. All eight of TSU's runs crossed the plate on home runs.

    Michael Villanueva picked up the win in relief after pitching the final one and two-thirds innings for the Tigers. He improved his record to a team-best 6-1 for the season. Travis Smith struck out four batters – including the first three he faced – in two and one-thirds innings of relief.

    PVAMU's Nic Campos took the loss for the Panthers (13-26), who fell to 6-9 in Southwestern Athletic Conference divisional play. Campos came in to pitch after Hicks' home run. He struck out the first batter he faced, but gave up back-to-back singles to Dukes and Alamo, who represented the tying and winning runs. Jordan Foster gave up the home run to Lucca.

    The Tigers trailed 5-0 through six innings, managing just two hits off PVAMU starting pitcher Edgar Sanchez. He had retired 11 batters in a row before issuing a one-out walk to Lucca in the bottom of the seventh. Jose Camacho then knocked a single through the right side of the infield, giving the Tigers two runners on base for the first time in the game.

    It was designated hitter Christian Sanchez who would finally put the Tigers on the board. Immediately following Camacho's hit, Sanchez knocked a 2-2 pitch from Edgar Sanchez over the left center-field fence to cut PVAMU's lead to 5-3. The hit also foreshadowed Lucca's heroics, as the bookend home runs were hit to nearly identical locations.

    Cabreja went 2-for-2 after entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Hicks also tallied two hits as a late-game replacement, going for 2-for-3. Alamo and Camacho also collected two hits for the Tigers.

    Lucca's home run was his sixth of the season and third in two days after he knocked two off the Panthers on Saturday. The home runs by Lucca and Hicks were also the first two ninth-inning round-trippers by the Tigers this season.

    Prior to the game, the Tigers honored five seniors – pitcher Ryan Hawkins and players Andre Moore, Charles Guillory, Lance Simmons, and Jeremy Thomas. Thomas made his first home start this season, and seventh overall, while Guillory, one of the team's defensive leaders, started behind the plate as he had for every game in the series.

    Moore, who has primarily been used as a pinch-hitter and pinch runner, made his seventh start in the outfield this season. His third-inning single gave him base hits in two consecutive starts, after also starting and hitting safely in the Tigers' win at Houston Baptist on April 4.

    Darius Boykins started on the mound for the Tigers and pitched four and one-third innings.

    The Tigers will play once more in Houston, when they make the short trip to HBU on Tuesday for their second matchup this season with the Huskies. First pitch from Husky Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.

    Courtesy: TSU Athletics
     

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