Southern baseball team loses decisive game at Texas Southern

 Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND LSU's Sean McMullen steals second base under Southern University's Marcus Tomlin at Alex Box Stadium on Wednesday. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND LSU's Sean McMullen steals second base under Southern University's Marcus Tomlin at Alex Box Stadium on Wednesday.

HOUSTON — The Southern baseball team erased an early five-run deficit Sunday at Texas Southern, then lost 9-5 to give the Tigers the series victory.

The Jaguars (13-16, 9-9 SWAC) scored twice in the fifth inning and three times in the sixth to tie it at 5, but Texas Southern (16-16, 8-7) scored four times in the seventh against relievers John Thigpen (0-2) and Josh Powell. Powell’s walk of Marquis Curry brought home the go-ahead run, and Tyler Flanagan doubled home two more later in the inning.

“We found a way to give it away,” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “We left (only) eight on base, but we had critical situations and didn’t get anything out of it.”

Cador pointed to his team’s struggles in key moments as the difference.

“We didn’t do a good job with two strikes or fight pitches off,” he said. “We struck out eight times, but it was when we struck out. We ended up taking third strikes and didn’t get the opportunity to make things happen by putting the ball in play. ... It’s difficult to do it when you don’t have the confidence to do it.”

Southern starter Daniel Garcia allowed four runs and five hits in 3.2 innings as Texas Southern built a 5-0 lead. Leslie Parker hit a solo homer against Garcia in the fourth, and De’Mario Thibodeaux added a two-run, inside-the-park homer against Thigpen later in the inning.

Brian Rowry and Gavin Webster each had two RBIs for Southern, which had a 1-0 win and 5-2 loss in Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We scored five runs, which is a lot compared to what we’ve been scoring lately,” Cador said. “Normally five runs would give you a victory, but not today.”

The Jaguars played without outfielder Sean Washington and catcher Fernando Morales, who both have leg injuries. Cador said Washington could be back within a week, while Morales likely is out for two.

Southern hosts Loyola of New Orleans at 6 p.m. Tuesday before welcoming Grambling for a three-game weekend series starting Saturday. The Jaguars have just one road game the rest of the way — May 5 at Jackson State.

“If you’re ever going to make a run,” Cador said, “you want to do it at home.”