Southern baseball team welcomes Loyola back to town

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern coach Roger Cador talks to his team before the start of a doubleheader against Grambling last month at Lee-Hines Field. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern coach Roger Cador talks to his team before the start of a doubleheader against Grambling last month at Lee-Hines Field.

Coming off its first sweep of a Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division rival this season, the Southern baseball team returns to action Tuesday at Lee-Hines Field when Loyola makes its second trip from New Orleans in as many weeks. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

The sweep of Grambling over the weekend vaulted Southern from fourth place in the West all the way to first, erasing any concerns about the Jaguars (17-16) failing to qualify for the SWAC tournament for the first time in coach Roger Cador’s 29 seasons.

Cador hopes his team can keep alive the momentum, especially at the plate.

“You can begin to see kids getting confidence in their at-bats,” he said. “The approach is much better.”

The Jaguars surged for eight runs late in Sunday’s 11-3 win to close out the three-game sweep and post their fourth straight win.

Cador said he will go back to freshman right-hander Camilo Godoy, who worked five innings in an 8-2 victory against Loyola (15-37) last Tuesday to earn his first career win. Godoy, who generally has struggled early in games, held the Wolf Pack scoreless from innings 2-5 after giving up one run in the first.

Coach Doug Faust said Loyola plans to use “about five different pitchers” Tuesday and had not decided who would start. The Wolf Pack has lost four straight, including a sweep at the hands of Spring Hill in a recent Southern States Athletic Conference series. Evan Turkish is batting .314 to lead the offense, followed by Karson Cullins at .312 and three home runs.

Cador is looking for Godoy to start faster.

“It would be good to see him do that,” Cador said. “I know for his psyche, it would be good.”

Southern has a chance to finish on top in the SWAC West when the Jaguars close divisional play with a three-game series against Prairie View this weekend at Lee-Hines Field. Prairie View and Arkansas-Pine Bluff each sit a game and a half back in second place.

The Jaguars are still awaiting the return of third baseman Caleb Hatcher, outfielder Sean Washington and catcher Fernando Morales, who all have missed significant time with injuries.