Southern baseball team opens home slate against Dillard on Tuesday

Southern baseball team opens home slate against Dillard on Tuesday
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The Southern baseball team opens its home schedule at 6 p.m. Tuesday night when the Jaguars play host to Dillard of the NAIA.

Tuesday’s game is the first of 26 at Lee Hines Field.

“I expect them to come and be scrappy, and come out and play hard,” Southern coach Chris Crenshaw said. “We have to come out, execute pitches, make plays and get some timely hits.”

Southern has struggled while losing the last two games. The Jaguars (2-4) are coming off a 16-1 shellacking at the hands of conference rival Florida A&M in a game shortened to seven innings at the Andre Dawson Classic. 

“It didn’t go our way Sunday,” Crenshaw said. “We had a couple good innings and had to battle through some things. It seemed like everything that found a barrel found a way into the outfield grass for a hit. They got hits with runners in scoring position.”

Southern won the first game of the Andre Dawson Classic, beating Alabama State 7-1, but lost to North Carolina A&T 8-2 before falling to FAMU.

Tyeler Hawkins had four hits over the weekend while several players collected three. Khyle Radcliffe, Jalon Mack and Sadir Ryan had two hits each vs. Alabama State. Radcliffe had three RBIs, including a homer, and Ryan two RBIs.

Hawkins, Donny Sandifer and Logan Sanders had two hits each vs. North Carolina A&T, but overall Southern struggled at the plate in three games. The Jaguars had only five extra-base hits and struck out 23 times with only six walks.

After stealing 14 bases the previous weekend, the Jaguars collected only two.

Mack leads Southern with a .357 batting average. The Jaguars have hit two homers as a team.

On the pitching front, Ranard Grace (2-0) is solidifying himself as the Friday starter with his second consecutive quality start. He pitched six scoreless innings while allowing one hit and two walks with seven strikeouts.

“Ranard has been good in his last two starts. I’m proud of him,” Crenshaw said. “Antoine (Harris) was solid. Drew (Lasseigne) didn’t throw badly. He’s going to throw it over the plate, but you have to make plays behind a pitcher like Drew.”

Harris didn’t pitch badly in the Jaguars’ loss to North Carolina A&T. He allowed two runs in 4⅔ innings with zero walks and four strikeouts.

The FAMU game got out of hand because of nine unearned runs. Lasseigne allowed three earned runs in three innings.

Dillard is 2-11 and has lost its last six games since beating Xavier 6-4. First baseman Jalen Ayers is batting .310 with a homer and seven RBIs while third baseman Kwailty Williams is hitting .313.

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