Southern pitcher Harold Myles missed his team’s last few games because of the death of his grandmother.
But he wanted to make her proud when he made his return to the mound.
Myles, who was 0-4 with an 8.00 ERA entering Wednesday night’s game against Loyola, fought through an emotional night and put forward his best performance of the season to help push the Jaguars to a 5-4 win at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
The 6-foot-5 third-year sophomore threw six innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits, striking out five along the way.
“I tried to not think about it too much when I was out there,” Myles said. “I just know that she would’ve wanted me to do my best, so that’s what I tried to do.”
Trailing 3-2 after three innings, the Jaguars (7-11) woke up in the fourth inning and took control.
Troy Lewis tied the score at 3 in the fourth with a two-out RBI single to left field, and Southern took the lead in the fifth when Dondrayas Harris scored on a Loyola wild pitch that made the score 4-3.
The Jaguars added one more run in the seventh inning.
SU coach Roger Cador said his team is beginning to eliminate the mental mistakes that plagued them earlier in the season, and that, naturally, has led to more victories.
The Jaguars are now riding a four-game winning streak.
“We are doing a much better job of maintaining our focus and not beating ourselves,” Cador said. “We got in a few situations where we gave them opportunities to score because of our mistakes, but we are playing much better than we were earlier in the season. No doubt about that.”
The Wolfpack (16-19) got off to a hot start in Wednesday’s game, but quickly cooled at the plate and fell victim to the same offensive struggles they’ve had in dropping five of six games.
Loyola added one run in the ninth inning, but coach Doug Faust said his team needed to do a better job taking advantage of the earlier opportunities it had.
“Teams won’t let you get away with it if you keep missing those chances to score when you can,” he said. “We aren’t that far away from getting back to where we were. The same way we lost the last four, we can win the next four.
“We just have to be more aggressive when we need to be.”