Baseball drops 4 to UNO, faces Western this weekend

Four losses in two days doesn’t help a team’s standing.

The Lions hosted the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks for doubleheaders on back-to-back days last weekend and were outscored by a total of 45-19.

The good news for Southern however, is that they have 36 more chances to improve their record.

“I think we saw some positives,” Head Coach Bryce Darnell said. “I think that everybody needs to understand that we lost four to Omaha last year, and we lost two to Central last year, and we lost one to Pitt, so you look at where we’re at relative to where we were at last year, we’re like a game behind.

“So it is what it is, I mean nothing’s assured and we’ve got a challenge this weekend but you know, Omaha and Central, we don’t play them again.

“And we had some stiff arms which put our starting pitching behind the eight-ball, especially on Sunday.

“But such is life. So we’ll get CJ (Maffei) back going again and (Zak) Porath back going again and we like our chances.”

In the opening game of the four-game set, the Lions’ offense was held to four hits, which they turned into only one run.

Three errors in the game didn’t help starter Carter Lance who allowed seven runs, six earned, on the day.

In Saturday’s second game, the Lions again only mustered four hits but managed to scratch across four runs with them. Their pitching let them down, however, as Garrett Groom, Tyler Jinks and Corey Wells were all touched for three runs in the contest on the way to a 13-4 drumming. The Mavs had 19 hits in the game.

Sunday’s opener was the closest of the four, as it finished a one-run game. The Lions’ offense came alive to put up eight runs on 11 hits in the outburst. Defense again plagued them however as five more errors, including three from preseason All-America selection Skyler Rawlins, gave Omaha six more unearned runs, leading to  a 9-8 victory for them.

In the series finale, Omaha knocked out 20 more hits to down Southern, who again had a respectable offensive showing, by a score of 16-6.

Four more Lions errors gave the Mavs five unearned runs.

“We have to hit a little bit better and I think we did on Sunday, but we have to play better defense,” Darnell said. “Our defense has been pitiful at times. We just have to do a better job of playing defense. Sunday, for sure, without a doubt, that first game we made an error and I’m not even sure what inning or who made it but the point is, I think they got six unearned runs because of an error.”

The Lions will begin a nine-game roadtrip tomorrow when they play doubleheaders against Missouri Western State University, a pair tomorrow and another Sunday.