Southern baseball coach Chris Crenshaw was hoping to depart Baton Rouge on a better note than Tuesday’s 7-3 loss to McNeese State.
The Jaguars will have to wait awhile for their next chance to please the home fans in person.
Southern (2-7) plays a three-game series at Texas-San Antonio beginning Friday to open a streak of 11 consecutive road games over three weeks. The Jaguars won’t been gone that whole time but with that much time on the road, Crenshaw is hoping something happens for his team riding a seven-game losing streak.
“We leave the state for the first time, and we’ll see how these road trips to Texas go,” Crenshaw said. “Hopefully we’ll play well, and the pitching carries over. We’ve got to have some luck on our side.
“We’ll definitely bond on the road. I feel good about us. We’ve got some good stuff going on, but we have to fix some things, too. We’ve had some tough luck. We’ve got to figure something out.”
Southern had four errors that led to four unearned runs for McNeese. The Jaguars collected eight hits and pitched well for the most part, but the hitters got shut down in the final three innings, striking out nine times.
“We usually don’t play this way; we’re going to clean it up for sure,” second baseman and leadoff hitter Jovante Dorris said. “We’ll get away from school a little, change the environment. Maybe that will help us out a little bit. That should help us bond. We’ll be doing everything together.
“I feel like we’re going to come around. Once we get rolling, we’ll get that snowball effect going.”
Dorris is batting .355 and has two home runs, tied with Tremaine Spears for the team lead in long balls. JJ Rollon leads Southern with a .391 average.
Infielder Hunter Tabb, who is batting .370, won’t be available for two weeks because of a bruised hand after being hit by a pitch in the McNeese game. Crenshaw said shortstop Justin Wiley will be out “another week or so” with a hamstring injury. Caleb Tart has filled in and Jalon Mack could see some time there.
Also out is catcher Gustavo Nava Sanchez with an oblique muscle injury.
The Jaguars starting rotation this weekend will be Joseph Battaglia, Christian Davis and Mykel Page. Davis missed the first weekend because of a tender right arm but pitched four innings against Towson on Saturday and allowed one earned run.
UTSA is 7-1 and raised some eyebrows this week when it beat No. 2-ranked Stanford, 6-5, in 10 innings. Second baseman Leyton Barry’s run-scoring single won it for the Roadrunners. Third baseman Jonathan Tapia leads UTSA with a .429 average and Barry is hitting .406. Six Roadrunners have one homer each.
Jacob Jimenez is the only UTSA pitcher with at least two starts. He has allowed one earned run in 7 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.