PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — The Southern baseball team had to hang on for its latest victory Saturday, but its winning streak is intact and growing.
Heck, given the Jaguars’ early struggles, what does it really matter that an 8-7 win came after they bolted to an 8-0 lead at Prairie View? Nobody knows better the value of a “W,” no matter how it gets added to the table.
“At the end of the day, it’s better to get an ugly win,” Southern coach Roger Cador said.
The Jaguars pushed their winning streak to seven games as they hit the midway point through their Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule. Once 3-15 overall, SU stands at 10-15, including an 8-6 conference mark.
The Jaguars lost two of three to PV (8-22, 4-10) in late February, so sweeping the Panthers further punctuates the turnaround.
“We’re happy to get out of Prairie View with a sweep,” Cador said.
Up next, SU steps out of conference for seven games, hosting Jackson State on Tuesday and Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday before a three-game set with NAIA member Loyola, an exhibition game with BRCC and a visit from UNO.
The Jaguars won’t have another SWAC game until Arkansas-Pine Bluff visits April 18 and 19. That series will begin a run of the final three weekend series for SU.
“Mentally, we’re in a good place,” Cador said. “We have a tough road left, but we’ll be OK.”
Southern took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second after Sergio Torres singled up the middle, scoring Rivers Frederick and Gavin Webster. Then, on a full count with two outs, Tyler Kirksey tripled to left-center, scoring Torres.
“We were doing the things that got us the previous six wins: taking good at-bats, knocking in runs with two outs and people picking each other up,” Cador said.
The Jaguars added five runs in the top of the fourth — in part because of their six hits, but also because of a key throwing error by Edward Robledo that opened the gates. Marcus Tomlin and Jose de la Torre added RBI doubles as Southern went ahead 8-0.
Meanwhile, starter Tyler Robinson was doing well enough. Robinson lasted 7.2 innings, striking out two and walking one. He gave up seven hits and five runs — but only two of those were earned.
Southern’s defense didn’t help him, committing a season-high six errors.
“Those errors kept innings going, and they gained confidence,” Cador said. Indeed, the Panthers kept going.
They scored four times in the eighth inning to cut their deficit to 8-5.
Then, in the ninth, Prairie View had a very real chance to tie the score against reliever Rafael Diaz.
Joseph Mack ripped a two-run single to center field, pulling Prairie View to within one run. The Panthers had two runners on and Connor Wrye at the plate — but Wrye grounded into a 3-6-3 double play, allowing Southern to escape.