Southern struggling to win tight ballgames

Senior outfielder Logan Moon

Beth Hammons/The Chart

Senior outfielder Logan Moon

The Lions (20-16, 14-14 MIAA) return home after yet another difficult road trip following a 1-3 weekend in Maryville and a loss at Drury.  And like most of the blemishes on Southern’s record this season, they were not of the blowout variety, as all three against Northwest were settled by two runs or less, two coming in walk-off fashion.

It was a disappointing setback for a roster of new and what seemed to be improved players ready to make a late season run in the MIAA.  This accomplishment is not yet out of the Lions reach with another 14 games remaining on the diamond, but after losses to a similarly positioned Bearcats team, it surely has not become any easier.

“Digging deep and finding a way to win close games,” said junior Brandon Weller.”  “The best teams find ways to win those games and I know we have the talent, it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

The opening game of the weekend seems to explain Southern’s year in a nutshell, with an quality start coming from the top pitcher senior David Reese, where he went nine and a third innings in a game scheduled for only seven.  He struck out eight along the way and allowed only five hits, but when the scoreboard read final, the Lions had lost the contest 2-1.

The rest of the weekend followed suit for the Lions, who continue to struggle at the dish but for Southern, there is no quit in sight.

“Right now we are playing playoff baseball for the next three weeks,” said senior Ryan Bates.  “We still believe we are in a good spot and know we can beat these teams in our conference.”