Southern University was closing in on a relatively rare midweek win Tuesday night against UL-Monroe at Lee-Hines Field.
But the Jaguars bullpen — far more dependable this season than last — couldn’t finish the job, giving up three runs in the two of the final three innings of a 5-4 loss.
Southern (24-17) had won three recent games against LSU, UNO and Alcorn State but was 3-6 in midweek games since March 1 — even as the Jaguars mowed through most of their opponents in Southwestern Athletic Conference play on the weekends.
On Tuesday, Southern held a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh, but reliever Larry Barbarino gave up a one-out double to Trent Tingelstad, whose pinch runner, Jake Kaufman, came home on a two-out wild pitch, tying the score at 3.
One inning later, with Jackson Cullen (2-1) on the mound, the Warhawks (12-23) scored two unearned runs to take a 5-3 lead.
Joey Jordan reached on a throwing error, moved to second on a wild patch and advanced to third on a passed ball. Jordan scored on a Logan Wurm single to right field.
Wurm eventually came around to score on Andrew Beesley’s bases-loaded RBI fielder’s choice.
The Jaguars closed to within one run in the bottom of the eighth after pinch runner Willie Ward came home with two outs on a ULM throwing error that put Tyler LaPorte at second base. But Brendon Davis struck out swinging with the tying run in scoring position.
Malik Blaise was 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI double for Southern. Ashanti Wheatley was 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored. Zavier Moore was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.
The Jaguars, who lead the SWAC Western Division, begin a three-game series at Grambling at 6 p.m. Friday.