Fresh off a series win at Prairie View, the Southern University baseball team has gotten just the break it needed at the midway point of Southwestern Athletic Conference divisional play.
Southern (11-10) was able to lick its wounds (somewhat) with no midweek games Tuesday or Wednesday. Now, USCAA member Selma University coming in for a three-game series this weekend.
“This is the third or fourth year we’ve played (Selma),” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “Each year they’ve gotten better because they’ve gotten better players. We’ve just got to keep working and trying to improve.”
The first game is at 6 p.m. Friday at Lee-Hines Field. The teams finish with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Through four weekends of SWAC Western Division play, Southern’s starting rotation has been a constant.
That will change, however, because senior right-hander Daniel Garcia injured his right index finger in Sunday’s 8-2 win over Prairie View.
Left-hander Jesse Holiday (3-1) has been the Jaguars’ No. 1 pitcher throughout, and will start Friday night. Right-hander Jose DeLeon (2-2) will take the ball for Saturday’s first game. He’ll be followed by another right-hander in Camilo Godoy, the team’s midweek starter.
Saturday’s start will be the fourth of the season for Godoy (0-2).
“We’ll give (Holiday and De Leon) their regular start, and maybe put a limit on their pitches depending on how the game goes,” Cador said. “Obviously, we have to try and win the game first and see what happens after that.”
In last Friday’s 3-2 loss at Prairie View, Holiday gave up nine hits and two earned runs in 5.2 innings.
He wasn’t involved in the game’s final outcome, a ninth-inning rally that produced the winning run.
De Leon was stronger, as he led Southern to a 3-1 win in the second game, allowing just four hits and one earned run in eight innings. Josh Powell threw the final two innings, picking up the win after Southern struck for two runs in the top of the 10th.
At the plate, Southern got two hits and five RBIs from designate hitter Jose De La Torre in Sunday’s 8-3 series-clinching win over Prairie View.
Also a catcher, De La Torre has battled a hamstring injury, and went 3-for-7 in two games against Prairie View.
Center fielder Gavin Webster was 3-for-12, and drove in a run in each game.
Third baseman Caleb Hatcher was 3-for-9 with an RBI.
Southern’s pitching might be tested by the Bulldogs, who swept their most recent series March 15-16 against Concordia College by scores of 14-3, 15-0 and 15-1.
“Hopefully we can pitch a few more kids this weekend,” Cador said. “We’ve got some other kids we’d like to look at.”
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