On Thursday night Southern played their first home game of the season against Northwestern State. Going into the game, Southern had just come off a series win against Prairie View. Notably, in the last game of the three-game series, they scored 20 runs against their opponents. They would look to replicate that offensive outburst at Lee-Hines field.
The game started off slow for both teams as pitching kept the game scoreless through three innings of play. Northwestern State struck first with a two-run home run at the top of the fourth inning. The Jaguars early on had a very difficult time getting on track.
By the fifth inning, the Demons increased their lead to three, but Southern would soon reply. After a key pitching error, Southern was able to bring home their first run of the night from Junior outfielder Hampton Hudson. The error sparked Southern who then went on to score five straight unanswered runs.
The sixth inning turned into an absolute offensive onslaught from Southern. They showed great confidence at the plate and were able to capitalize on errors made by Northwestern State. By the seventh-inning stretch, the game was hotly contested between both parties with a score of four to six with Southern leading.
In the eighth inning, Southern’s pitching maintained the lead and was able to hold their opponents scoreless. The ninth inning was a significantly different story for Northwestern State as they scored a three-run home run to tie the game. Southern’s offense was unable to return the favor in the ninth so it would take extra innings to find a winner.
In the tenth inning Sophomore, left-handed pitcher Larry Barabino came in the game and delivered a scoreless inning late. Pitching would be the story of the entire inning as Southern looked to take advantage of a discombobulated Northwestern State. At the bottom of the tenth with Southern having Brad Jenkins on third base the unexpected happened. A wild pitch was thrown into the ground from Northwestern State pitcher Kyle Swanson that brought Jenkins home. Southern won the game on a walk-off error from Northwestern State.
Head Coach Kerrick Jackson said that he was happy with the win and provided thoughts about their pitching on the night. “For the most part, I felt that those guys battled through and did a good job.” Coach Jackson also spoke glowingly about the pitching from Barabino. “He put up a big zero in the tenth which helped us out tremendously.” Another part of the game that stuck out was Southern’s huge sixth inning. When asked if there was a change in strategy from a coaching perspective Coach Jackson gave his players the credit. “It was a combination of our players settling in and also capitalizing on their pitchers having trouble throwing strikes”.
Southern’s next matchup is a three-game series against Tulane. Both teams come into the match up with four-game winning streaks. The Jaguars will look to extend their winning streak on Friday.