It’s been a long time since Southern went without coach Roger Cador taking up his usual post on the third-base line, but fans got a glimpse of what a Cador-less world might look like Tuesday night because the longtime coach was out with an illness.
Southern claimed a 2-1 win against NAIA Loyola University in a game that was largely uneventful.
The most dramatic moment of the night came in the fourth inning when the game stopped for a brief weather delay.
But even that worked out for Southern (13-20), which tied the score almost immediately after the restart, then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. From then on, it was smooth sailing for the short-staffed Jaguars.
“It was about the same (without Cador),” said assistant coach Dan Canevari. “The kids, I think they pressed a little bit because they really wanted to win for coach Cador. ... We missed him tonight. There’s no doubt.”
Canevari said Cador will be with the team at Prairie View this weekend but will not travel with the team Thursday in hopes of getting one more day to recover.
Freshman pitcher Jacob Snyder had one of the better outings of his season, shutting down the Wolfpack (21-25) to just one unearned run on 7.2 innings. He allowed five hits and struck out five. The only run he allowed came on a wild pitch in the top of the third.
Snyder (3-1) said it was a difficult game for him considering the 30-minute rain delay, but that he was better prepared after going through an almost identical situation last week against LSU-Alexandria.
Canevari, the Jaguars’ pitching coach, said he was impressed with Snyder’s performance and the way he was able to keep his pitches down in the strike zone.
The past few weeks makes Canevari believe Snyder can be a valuable asset if Southern is to make a run in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament next month.
Closer Troy Lewis sealed the victory for Southern with a flawless showing in the final four outs for his third save of the season.
“I was a little shaky at the beginning in the first four innings when we had that rain delay,” Snyder said. “I went back to the 'pen, worked on some things and came back in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. They were stronger.”
Four of Loyola's first five hits coming in the first three innings, but the Wolf Pack never built much momentum after the delay.
The play that ultimately cost them the game came in the fifth inning when pitcher Stewart Campbell (2-2) went for the pickoff at first base, which resulted in Eduardo Velez being caught in a run down. Velez distracted the Wolf Pack enough to give Bobby Johnson the space needed to take home from third.
Campbell finished with a final line of four hits and two runs and five strikeouts on seven innings pitched.
“It was still the (fifth) inning, so we still had some at bats left and we wanted to stay out of the big inning,” Loyola coach Doug Faust said. “Once we had the pick here, we weren’t worried about the plate, just get the out.”