The guys do the best they can, but when you only have four scholarships, sometimes you don't have enough ammo, as I call it, and it happens. You don't have the ammunition to compete with the upper-level teams and that just makes us a good (not great) SWAC team. When we get more scholarships, it'll change. UAPB head baseball coach Carlos James
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions (11-14, 8-5) baseball team suffered a 9-1 loss to the University of Central Arkansas Bears (19-13) on Tuesday.
UAPB Head Coach Carlos James said he is disgusted with the pitching performance by his guys, and that's been a reoccurring thing with the mid-week group out of the bullpen.
The Golden Lions have only had four allotted scholarships since James has been the head coach, and he said that won't get it done against quality opponents. The full scholarship allotment is 11.7, but university officials have said they don’t have the money to fund them.
James added that if they don't have the guys and scholarships they need, they can't maximize the program's potential.
In the future, the Golden Lions are aware that they'll have to go out and recruit pitchers, but getting more scholarships is the ultimate goal when it comes to roster configuration, James said. When it comes to expenses, James eluded to how alumni and supporters of the university stepped up for the football team, and he wishes the baseball team could get some of that love.
"Our whole thing for this year period is we don't have the arms to compete mid-week at all," James said.
"The guys do the best they can, but when you only have four scholarships, sometimes you don't have enough ammo, as I call it, and it happens. You don't have the ammunition to compete with the upper-level teams and that just makes us a good (not great) SWAC team. When we get more scholarships, it'll change. That's where it starts at is on the mound, and it's hard to battle back against schools that have quality pitching. We've done it before and it's hard, but it's hard to do it on a yearly bases. Quality pitching top to bottom is a need that will be addressed for next year."
UAPB gave up a total of eight hits while committing eight errors against UCA, and James even credited the errors to the pitching staff.
"Our errors always will cost us a run here and there, and I go back to pitching," James said. "When you get pitchers on the mound who are walking people you lull your defense to sleep. At the same time, when you have a pitcher that's struggling, you have to make that play behind him to pick him up. It's a shared responsibility for all of us."
James said he believes this group has accepted the fact that they just have to take care of business in conference, and all of their goals are still ahead of them.
"It does nothing for us," James said of the loss. "These games like this we have to have a short memory. If you look at our standings in the conference we've learned that conference play is what's important. Like I said, I consider this team as a good SWAC team. We've had that type of team before and won the division. We're capable of being at the top of the conference and going into the tournament and winning it. We're still a good SWAC team, and this will be a teaching moment."
The Golden Lions currently sit in second place in the SWAC standings; they're a half of a game behind Texas Southern. Their weekend opponent, the Grambling State Tigers, are sitting in third, and they'll look to make up ground against UAPB in Ruston, Louisiana, this weekend.
Getting back in SWAC play will be a confidence booster for UAPB, and if they take care of business this weekend it'll push them closer to their goal of winning a SWAC regular season championship.
"One thing I can tell you is with this team they play with a lot more confidence in the SWAC," James said. "We have to win game one. It's huge because it's rain in the forecast like it was last week. We want to attack game one like it's the only game."