By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Communications
ATLANTA — Grambling State erased a three-run deficit to rally past Jackson State 8-7 in the opening round of the 2023 Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
GSU (28-24) put on a show at the plate, tallying 14 hits with two home runs. Tiger Borom and Keylon Mack both smacked two-run homers in the win. Both players provided the bulk of the run production at the plate with Borom going 2-for-3 with a home run, a double with two RBI, while Mack was 2-for-5 with a a homer and three RBI.
Grambling State starting pitcher Lorenzo Petersen tossed 5.0 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and a two walk. He was picked up by relievers Philip Bryant (1-1) and Ethan Bates (S, 5).
Bryant notched his first win of the season, limiting JSU (28-24) to one run on four hits with three Ks. Bates entered in the ninth inning, giving up one run on no hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Tiger Borom gave the GSU a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer to right field.
Jackson State responded in the top of the fourth with a three-run inning to snag a 3-2 lead. JSU stretched its lead to 5-2 with two more runs in the fifth.
GSU got the bottom of the inning off to a strong start when Kyle Walker stroked an RBI double to right centerfield, scoring Borom from first base, who led the inning off with a walk. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, a subsequent wild pitch brought him home, pulling GSU within a run, 5-4.
In the seventh inning, Mack pushed Grambling State back into the lead, 6-5, with a mammoth two-run home run deposited into the tree line just beyond the right field wall.
Jackson State tied it 6-6 on a lead off homer by Omar Gomez in the top of the eighth.
GSU responded immediately in the bottom of the frame. Borom sliced a leadoff double down the right field line. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Walker. Mack roped a single into right field, plating Walker and extending GSU’s lead to 7-6. Cameron Buffordstroked an RBI double to centerfield, making it 8-6.
Jackson State tried to rally in the ninth. JSU loaded the bases one out and threatened to steal the lead. Jackson State scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Marshal Luiz to pull within one, but Bates got the final out of the game with a fly ball to right field.
Grambling State faces rival Southern University in the winner’s bracket on Thursday night. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on the SWAC Digital Network.