JACKSON, Miss. — Quintavious Drains struck out the first three Southern batters he faced Saturday at Braddy Field.
Soon enough, however, the Jaguars got to him. And soon enough, Drains faltered against a hot Southern team that keeps hitting and winning.
The Jaguars erupted for five runs in the fifth inning off of Drains, turning a close game into a 14-4 wipeout to secure their 12th consecutive victory.
“Drains did very well to start off the game,” SU coach Roger Cador said. “Then we were able to really start chipping away, chipping away. Our guys were so focused.”
It certainly seemed that way.
On a sunny spring afternoon, Southern piled up 19 hits and got home runs from Taylor Roy, B.J. Rowry and Cameron McGriff.
Eight of the nine players in the starting lineup scored.
Southern took a 7-0 lead in the fifth inning after Roy singled home Clint Ourso; Rowry belted a three-run homer; and McGriff followed with a solo homer, prompting JSU coach Omar Johnson to remove Drains.
Drains (9-3) — a senior right-hander, who took a 2.73 ERA into Saturday’s game — had seven strikeouts and no walks. But he allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings, giving way to reliever Raymond Rodriguez.
The Jaguars broke a scoreless tie in the top of the second when McGriff singled and came home after an error by JSU second baseman Desmond Russell. They added another run in the third inning on Roy’s two-out solo homer.
McGriff was 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Four other batters — Roy, Rowry, Wilmy Marrero and DeMario Ellis — had three hits apiece for the Jaguars (27-14), who hasn’t lost since April 6, when they dropped the first game of a doubleheader at home against Texas Southern.
Junior left-hander Jesse Holiday took the loss that day against TSU.
Saturday afternoon, he had few problems against Jackson State. Although he issued five walks and gave up three runs, Holiday (6-3) won his third straight decision by holding the Tigers (28-13) to two hits in 5.2 innings.
JSU didn’t score against Holiday until the sixth, when it got three runs with two outs.
“He had a shutout going for a long time,” Cador said of Holiday. “We should’ve turned a double play in the sixth inning to get him out of it. ... But he gave us a chance. He had his straight change working and good location with his fastball, throwing it outside to the right-handed hitters.”
Freshman left-hander John Thigpen threw the final 3.1 innings for Southern, giving up one run on four hits.
The teams finish their two-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lee-Hines Field.
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