MADISON, Ala. — Playing its fifth game in four days, Southern used a pitch-by-committee approach for its elimination game Saturday against Prairie View at the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
Tired arms or not, the method proved effective and the Jaguars were able to move into Sunday’s championship game with an 8-4 win at Toyota Field.
Keeping Prairie View (14-18) out of big innings was the key.
The Panthers scored in four innings but came away with only one run each time. Southern (18-28) bunched together three runs in the third and two runs each in the fifth and eighth innings.
Southern may need to employ similar tactics in Sunday’s championship game. The Jaguars square off against Jackson State (34-8), which was 24-0 in league play during the regular season. First pitch is scheduled for noon, with ESPN3 streaming the broadcast.
Southern and Jackson State did not play in the regular season.
Against Prairie View, Markaylon Boyd started and gave up two runs in three innings. Dillen Miller, the third of five pitchers, got the win with 2-1/3 innings of middle relief. Enrique Ozoa held the Panthers scoreless in the final two innings to pick up his sixth save.
Jovante Dorris’ two-run single highlighted a three-run third inning for Southern. Tremaine Spears added a two-run double in the fifth, but Prairie View pulled to within 5-4 a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Southern kept the pressure on scoring two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth.
Dorris led the Jaguars hitters with two hits and three RBIs. Also getting two hits were Taj Porter, Spears, A.J. Walter and Isaiah Adams.
Prairie View starter Roberto Maldonado (0-5) was pulled with one out in the fifth after giving up seven hits and five runs.