NATCHITOCHES — Jesse “Doc” Holiday was at it again.
The Southern junior left-hander gave up one earned run in five innings and Caleb Hatcher went 4-for-5 in his first start of the season as the Jaguars defeated Northwestern State 5-3 on Friday night at Brown-Stroud Field.
“Doc threw that ball very well again tonight,” coach Roger Cador said. “That’s two really good outings that he’s given us so far, and I’m really pleased with what I’ve seen from him so far (this season).”
Holiday, a junior, allowed five hits and two walks while striking out five. He gave way to Josh Powell, who threw the final four innings to pick up his first save.
The Southern defense committed two errors but also turned two late-inning double plays.
The Jaguars (3-2) scored one run in the first inning and three more runs in the fourth inning.
Hatcher, who bats left-handed, cracked the starting lineup for the first time, in the No. 2 spot as designated hitter. He doubled twice, scoring one run and driving in another.
Third baseman Cameron McGriff was 3-for-4, and DeMario Ellis came up with a two-out, two-strike RBI single in the eighth inning, which gave the Jaguars a 5-2 lead.
Southern finished with a season-high 13 hits.
“We really were facing good, good pitching,” Cador said. “They were throwing good arms at us, and we were able to do something with it. We had a lot of big hits in some key situations tonight.”
It was also the second effective outing for Holiday (2-0) in this young college baseball season.
Last Friday, in the season opener at Minute Maid Park in Houston, he threw five scoreless innings in a 6-0 win over Prairie View.
Northwestern State (1-3) collected eight hits and five walks but never put together a big inning.
The Demons scored one run apiece in the fourth, fifth and ninth innings.
The Demons got leadoff batters on base in the sixth and seventh innings, only to see the potential rallies cut short by double plays.
“Just a poor outing by us tonight,” Northwestern coach J.P. Davis said. “We didn’t come out ready to play. But give Southern credit. They came ready to play, and their pitcher (Holiday) did a great job of sticking in the strike zone.”
Demons starter Jos Scanio (1-1) lasted six innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits. He struck out 10 and walked one.
Nick Purdy was 2-for-2 for Northwestern. Will Watson was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple.
The teams will be back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday. Right-hander Jose De Leon will start for Southern.