NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The Southern baseball team is one of the best worst-to-first stories you’ll ever hear. After Kerrick Jackson and his Jaguars mustered just nine wins his first season at Southern, the Jags dominated Sunday’s SWAC Tournament championship game against Alabama State.
The Jags cruised to the 15-0 win over the Hornets.
There was a four-hour weather delay, but nothing seems to deter Southern’s players. It’s amazing what Jackson has done with this Jaguar team in just two years.
ASU starter Darren Kelly, who nearly no-hit the Jags when the teams faced off last year, had quite a different outing Sunday. The Jags jumped all over him.
In the top of the first, Ashanti Wheatley hit a double that scored SWAC Co-Player of the Year Tyler LaPorte for a 1-0 lead.
Southern pitcher Eli Finney, who beat LSU at Lee-Hines Field during a midweek game earlier this season, sailed along in this one, backed by his defense. He didn’t leave the mound until getting the first out in the ninth inning, only allowed three hits and was still shutting out the Hornets. Although the one run was all the support he would need, he got plenty more.
In the top of the second, the Jags were at it again, as catcher Bobby Johnson from Runnels made his dad, Tookie, proud. Johnson took a pitch out of the yard for a two-run bomb and a 3-0 SU advantage.
The Jags erupted for four more runs in the fifth. LaPorte smashed a two-run triple and when he cranked out a homer to make it 10-0, the game was just through six innings. LaPorte had five RBI on the day.
Javeyan Williams and Johnny Johnson led Southern’s prowess at the plate. Williams finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and made it home four times. Johnson was 4-for-6 with a couple of doubles and three RBI.
Johnson capped a four-run seventh inning that made it a football-like 14-0 score. The Jags later tacked on one more for good measure.
Southern will next head to Chicago to play in the inaugural HBCU World Series against North Carolina A&T at 1 p.m. Friday.
The Jags will then have to wait to find out where they will play in an NCAA Regional on May 31.