Southern Will Start Its Quest For A College World Series Title In The Austin Regional

Southern University will start its quest for a College World Series title in the Austin Regional as they begin NCAA Tournament play this week. The Jaguars earned an automatic bid as the champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) after a stunning upset defeating Jackson State to claim back to back conference titles. 

The 64-team field was unveiled Monday, June 31st.

Southern (20-28), SWAC tournament champ, will open its NCAA second straight regional appearance since 2019 ( COVID-19 Pandemic shut down the 2020 collegiate season) in Austin, Texas Friday May 4th, 1 p.m.

The Austin Regional field has four teams, including  Southern.

Austin Regional

1 Texas (42-15)

2 Fairfield (37-3) 

3 Arizona State (32-20)

4 Southern University (20-28)

The Jaguars have won 16 SWAC titles making their tenth NCAA tournament appearance which includes three NCAA tournament play-in appearances. 

Southern entered the tournament with a 15-27 overall record before a 5-1 run which led them to a repeat conference championship. The Jaguars hot streak during the SWAC championship was their best during the season. 

Chris Crenshaw was named head coach of the baseball program on December 3, 2020, becoming the seventh head coach in Jaguar baseball history. Prior to Southern, Crenshaw spent five years at Jackson State as an assistant. He was instrumental in helping guide the Jaguars to the 2019 SWAC Western Division Championship and overall 2019 SWAC Tournament Championship a season which earned the Jaguars a bid to the NCAA Division I Regional Tournament. 

Offensively, Southern is led by Tremaine Spears, batting .304 with six home runs and a team leading 38 runs batted, O’Neill Burgos, .300 batting average, five home runs and 32 RBIs, Zavier Moore four HR, 31 runs driven home and Taj Porter belted six home runs 24 runs batted in. 

On the mound, the Jaguars are led by junior right hander Joseph Battaglia (5-4) with a 5.86 earned run average and 33 strikeouts and senior RHP Wilhelm Allen (4-2) in seven starts, logging 51.2 innings and 46 strikeouts. Coach Crenshaw can pick his starters by committee if they can advance and make a run. They will need closer Enrique Ozoa, (7) saves and a 1.33 earned run average in 20.1 innings on the hill and 22 Ks. 

Southern will need pitching to step up something it lacked the entire season if they expect to grind through the regional’s. Only two three game winnings streaks the entire 2021 campaign. 

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