A potential HBCU World Series game fell through for Southern baseball this week, but the Jaguars wound up with a doubleheader instead.
Southern will play Florida A&M in an exhibition doubleheader Saturday at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Florida, the Wahoos organization announced Thursday.
The teams will play two seven-inning games beginning at noon, pitting the Southwest Athletic Conference champion Jaguars (32-22) against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Rattlers (27-32). Blue Wahoo Stadium is the home field for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Minnesota Twins' Double-A affiliate.
Admission is free and the gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Southern coach Kerrick Jackson said he reached out to FAMU coach Jamey Shouppe, who had some contacts with the Blue Wahoos, to set up the exhibition.
“It’s an ideal event,” Jackson said. “Two teams that aren’t playing and trying to stay fresh. There’s nothing official to it. No stats will be kept, no trophy awarded. It’s just a case of, ‘Hey, you’re sitting idle; we’re sitting idle, let’s play.
“Intra-squading right now is not ideal. It worked out and we need to play. We need to stay competitive and play someone with a different uniform.”
Southern had previously agreed to play in an exhibition game Friday in Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, against North Carolina A&T. But the school backed out of the deal when organizers did not meet contractual obligations concerning travel and a weather contingency plan.
“We’re excited that coach Jackson gets a chance to coach a game where he can get his team prepared for the NCAA tournament,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said. “The difference is the guys were going to get a chance to play in a Major League Baseball ballpark, but the underlying purpose is to stay sharp and crisp. It worked itself out pretty good.”
With their conference tournament titles, both teams captured automatic berths in the NCAA tournament that begins next Friday. Tournament seedings and brackets will be released Monday.