Nicholls State gets early jump in Southern win

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Southern's Gavin Webster takes a cut during a game against Stillman College during a game in February. Webster homered Tuesday night against Northwestern State at Lee-Hines Field, but the Demons won, 9-5. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Southern's Gavin Webster takes a cut during a game against Stillman College during a game in February. Webster homered Tuesday night against Northwestern State at Lee-Hines Field, but the Demons won, 9-5.

“I was nervous for my first college game. That first inning ... I was staying with the same pitches and not taking a break and thinking about it or mixing it up.” CAMILO GODOY, SU freshman pitcher

THIBODAUX — It didn’t take long into his college debut for Southern starter Camilo Godoy to get a not-so-warm welcome.

Nicholls State leadoff man Matt Richard sent Godoy’s third pitch of the ballgame over the wall in right field as part of a four-run first inning that bolstered the Colonels’ 11-1 win against Southern on Wednesday night at Ray E. Didier Field.

On a cold night at Ray E. Didier Field, the first five batters Godoy faced all reached base, as the redshirt freshman struggled to settle in. Godoy didn’t get much early help from his defense, either, as the Jaguars committed two errors in the first inning.

Things continued to unravel for Southern, as a routine fly ball fell between two outfielders and Godoy hit two batters — all in the top of the first. Four Colonels crossed the plate, and the Jaguars found themselves in an early hole.

“I was nervous for my first college game,” said Godoy, who took the loss. “That first inning, I had to get my mechanics straight and get everything straight. I wasn’t mixing up pitches. I was staying with the same pitches and not taking a break and thinking about it or mixing it up.”

Nicholls batted around in the first inning, but Godoy eventually found his groove in the second frame, holding the Colonels scoreless for the next 3.2 innings. After surrendering four hits in the opening frame, the 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander gave up just two hits the rest of the way, striking six on the night.

“In the second inning, I finally calmed down and finally just let it loose and did what I’ve been practicing for this whole year,” Godoy said. “It gives me confidence, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The SU bats were also kept at bay for much of the evening, as Southern collected only five hits. Freshman left-hander Zach Thiac earned his first collegiate start Wednesday, pitching three scoreless innings allowing just two hits and striking out five.

Southern got its lone run in the fourth inning, aided by two Nicholls miscues. D.J. Wallace reached on a fielding error by Colonel right fielder Mike Barba, and eventually made it home off Fernando Morales’ single into right field.

Five Colonels relievers kept the Jaguars silent the rest of the way.

“Thiac started the tone pretty good for us right off the bat,” Nicholls coach Seth Thibodaux said. “We were excited to be out here on the home opener. It all started on the mound. We pitched pretty well.”

Nicholls tacked on two runs in the sixth inning to increase its lead by five, and added four more runs in the eighth to put the nail in the Jaguars’ coffin.

“We take a lot of pride in what we call the business innings late in game,” Thibodeaux said. “We want to make sure we put some pressure there. I was very pleased with the effort, especially late in the game. Our goal is to be relentless and the best we can be throughout and we did that tonight.”

The Jaguars have one day off before traveling to Houston this weekend for the MLB Urban Invitational.