Year 2 of the Kerrick Jackson era at Southern is already off to a better start.
Coby Taylor made sure of that.
Taylor launched a one-out solo homer to left-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday at Wesley Barrow Stadium in New Orleans, lifting the Jaguars to a 6-5 victory over archrival Grambling on the second day of the Andre Dawson Classic.
Taylor, a junior-college transfer from Indianapolis, came to the plate with the score tied at 5 after the Jaguars had rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
His swing on a 1-0 pitch gave Southern (2-0) another win over Grambling exactly one year after Jackson’s first win as the Jaguars coach (coincidentally, it was also against Grambling, and also in the same ballpark).
The win came after a stellar season debut Friday, when Southern — coming off a 9-33 season — scored in each of the first four innings to take down Florida A&M 6-3.
On Saturday, the Jaguars got 41⁄3 innings from freshman right-hander Christian Dixon, one of 14 newcomers to this year’s roster. He ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up three runs before he gave way to freshman left-hander Larry Barbarino, a New Orleans native who allowed one run on two hits over the next 22⁄3 innings.
Grambling scored four runs in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Taylor’s RBI single to right started a three-run rally.
Hunter David was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Taylor was 3 for 5 with two runs scored, and junior Johnny Johnson was 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Jaguars’ weekend continues with a game against Alcorn State at 4 p.m. Sunday at Maestri Field at UNO.