The Southern baseball team makes its first true road trip of the young season when it visits Jackson State at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Jaguars won two out of three in the Urban Invitational to start the season last weekend. After beating Grambling 7-5 on Friday at Lee Hines Field, Southern beat the Tigers by the same score the next day in New Orleans.
The weekend ended on a sloppy note when the Jaguars lost to UNO 9-1 at Alex Box Stadium on Sunday as the Privateers hit, pitched and fielded better than Southern.
Jaguars coach Roger Cador looked at the bright side of Sunday’s loss.
“Now the kids that we’ve tried understand that we need to execute a little better,” he said.
Southern was out hit 14-4 and committed two errors, leading to three unearned runs, and threw four wild pitches. But overall there was more good than bad over the weekend, especially for a team that had limited preseason practices because of an unusually severe winter.
“We could give them a pass in the fact that we haven’t worked that much on things and they are young people and we don’t expect perfection from them, but we want a better job,” Cador said. “I’m not going to be such a hard-core coach and say negative things about them because we have to give them more time to get better, get comfortable and understand what we need to do.”
The Jaguars likely will be without starting third baseman Harley Wiltz, who was replaced by Robinson Mateo in the fourth inning Sunday after experiencing soreness in one of his hamstrings.
“We need to get him back because he’s our third-hole hitter,” Cador said of Wiltz, who was 2-for-9 with a run batted in and a run scored over the weekend.
Southern will start junior right-hander Ryan Flynn, who threw a scoreless eighth inning, allowing just a walk, in the Jaguars win Friday.
Jackson State won three of four games in the JSU Baseball Tournament over the weekend, including a 2-1 victory against South Dakota State on Sunday.