Texas Southern earns SWAC crown
NEW ORLEANS -- Texas Southern won its first Southwestern Athletic Conference title since 2008 with a 10-0 win against Southern on Sunday afternoon at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
The Tigers (31-17) have now won three titles in the program's history and this was the first for TSU head coach Michael Robertson while at the helm of the program.
Frank Cruz IV pitched a nine-inning, four-hit shutout to help lead the Tigers to victory. He also struck out a game-high four batters. Leading TSU offensively was senior Zach Howell, who went 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI. Horace Leblanc was the only other batter to collect multiple hits. He went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Southern starter Santos Saldivar brought a no-hitter into the fourth inning. With two on and one out, Javier Valdez singled through the right side to load the bases.
Howell then took his first pitch to deep left center field for a standup three-run double. Leblanc followed with a double of his own, scoring Howell. Saldivar then struck out the side to end the ending.
Texas Southern got hot again in the sixth playing small ball. Howell was hit then advanced on a bunt single down the left field line from Leblanc. Blake Hicks laid a bunt down and Howell beat out the play at third to load the bases. Reliever J'Markus George then hit Joel Rosario to bring another run across. Errors in the field allowed three more to score as TSU took a 9-0 lead.