Texas Southern put Southern’s offense to rest midway through the first game of Friday’s doubleheader and things pretty much stayed that way until the end.
The Tigers swept the Jaguars 7-3 and 4-1 at Lee-Hines Field as Southern totaled just 11 hits for the day.
“I’m hurting for these kids,” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “I know they want to do well, but they just don’t have that one guy who can do some really good things. If we had that one guy it would help tremendously.”
The last 14 Jaguars to bat in the first game went out in order and the lack of offense carried into the second game. Southern batters struck out 12 times and the Jaguars didn’t score until Sergio Torres hit a solo homer to center field with one out in the ninth.
With two outs, pinch hitter Nkosi Djehuti-Mes walked and Davin Webster was hit by a pitch, but Seth Oliver got Marcus Tomlin to fly to right to complete a two-inning stint that yielded his first save.
“They pitched a good game,” said Tomlin, who was 0-for-5 in the second game after going 3-for-4 in the first. “Unfortunately the ball wasn’t falling in for us. We haven’t been able to put a whole game together.”
The Tigers improved to 6-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and 10-11 overall. The Jaguars are 2-5 and 3-13. The series concludes at noon Saturday.
Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings of the second game. Ryan Lazo led off the fourth with a triple against Southern starter James Fontenot (2-1) and two outs later Zach Howell’s triple to left gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Jaguars squandered an excellent scoring opportunity in the bottom half against starter Frank Cruz (2-1). Jose de la Torre led off with a single and Troy White was hit by a pitch. Tyler Kirksey reached when Cruz fielded his bunt and looked to third too late to get de la Torre. Rivers Frederick and Torres struck out before Robinson Mateo grounded to second.
“I think they’re trying to do more than they’re capable of right now,” Cador said.
The Tigers expanded their lead in the sixth. Zach Welz led off with a double, Lazo sacrificed him to third and one out later Robert Garza singled home Welz. Howell tripled home Garza and Horace LeBlanc singled home Howell for a 4-0 lead.
Southern loaded the bases with two out in the bottom half, but Marcus Hodge was caught off second when Cruz threw behind him and second baseman Lazo tagged him out before de la Torre could reach the plate from third.
“We only had two decent swings the whole game,” Cador said. “One was the home run that Torres hit and the other was a foul ball by Tomlin.”
Both Southern starting pitchers — Santos Saldivar (0-5) in the first game and Fontenot — got off the good starts, but couldn’t match their Tigers counterparts.
Felix Gomez (1-2) gave up three runs in eight innings and Devin Konarik pitched a prefect ninth for his second save in the first game.
The Jaguars gave Saldivar a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on RBI-singles by D.J. Wallace and Frederick.
But Saldivar gave up two runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh. The fifth-inning rally started with two outs and the second run in the sixth and the one in the seventh came on two-out hits.
“That’s baseball,” Saldivar said. “It’s what happens between the lines. Your record isn’t always a measure of how you pitch. I had all my pitches working. Some balls found holes.”
Reliever Daniel Franklin pitched the final two innings and yielded a two-run homer to Garza in the ninth.