Southern baseball team prepares for road game at Nicholls State

After taking two of three games in its season-opening series against Stillman College this past weekend, the Southern University baseball team will play its first full-fledged road game, looking to win for the third time in six days.

Those first three “home” games were at Pete Goldsby Field.

The Jaguars will travel to Thibodaux to take on Nicholls State, which won two of three games at Houston Baptist over on college baseball’s opening weekend.

Southern will send redshirt freshman Camilo Godoy to the mound at Ray E. Didier Field for his first collegiate start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Godoy, a Baton Rouge native, came to Southern as a second baseman from Christian Life Academy. He redshirted last season while he made the transition to pitcher.

“He’s a kid that’s really worked hard to put himself in position to be able to pitch at the college level,” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “We asked him — we said, ‘Look, you might be able to pitch. We’re going to redshirt you. Work out,’ and he did all of those things. He’s so disciplined and works so hard and he listens. We’re happy for him that he’s getting his first collegiate start.”

Godoy, a 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander, will face a Nicholls State squad that put up 24 runs on 23 hits in its past two games combined after being shut out in Friday’s season opener.

Cador said he expects Godoy to use his debut as a learning experience.

“I think he’ll be quite fine,” Cador said. “He’ll grow up in a hurry. I do expect some nervousness, but his teammates love him and they’ll support him. We may have to throw him in that hostile environment and see what happens.”

Nicholls will likely counter with fellow freshman Zach Thiac, who would also make his first collegiate start.

Thiac made two appearances during the weekend, throwing four scoreless innings in relief. The left-hander from Archbishop Rummel gave up three hits and struck out four in his first two outings of the season, and will lead the Colonels as they renew a long-running series (Nicholls leads, 90-38).

Cador knows the challenge that lies ahead.

“Nicholls is a really good team,” he said. “They’ve gotten progressively better each of the last six years. I expect them to play well. I expect us to really have our hands full with them.”

Southern hit .339 as a team against Stillman. But the Jaguars pitching staff struggled at times. SU gave up 13 runs Saturday, a major reason its team ERA stands at 5.33 after three games.

Cador gave his team an off day Monday before getting back to work Tuesday, and the 29th-year coach is confident his team is ready for its first true road trip.

“They’ve shown good resiliency to play a good game, play a bad game then come back and play a good game,” Cador said. “We’re just looking for improvement as we’re going forward.”