Southern University, the most decorated baseball program in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, is used to winning championships. However, of the 28 titles the Jaguars have won in the program’s illustrious history, the 2021 title was its most dramatic.
Southern rallied after trailing previously undefeated Jackson State to score three runs in the top of the ninth inning which literally opened the door to their second consecutive SWAC championship with a 7-6 win to punch their 10th ticket to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament at Toyota Field in Madison, Alabama.
Jaguar Nation will now get the chance to play in Jackson, Miss. this weekend in the first-ever best of three HBCU World Series.
They will face the Norfolk State Spartans who won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship with a 7-6 win over North Carolina Central at Hank Aaron Sports Academy.
Jackson State ruled the SWAC during the regular season. The Tigers were 24-0 in the conference and 31-8 overall heading into the championship game for the first time since 2010. The championship game was the only time the teams would meet this year.
Southern, the reigning champs from 2019, needed to upset Prairie View A&M to make the finals on Saturday while Jackson State clinched their spot in the finals by defeating Grambling 9-5 on Friday.
But Cinderella smiled on the Jaguars who still trailed 6-4 after a solo home run in the top of the eighth from Zavier Moore. The rally gained steam in the top of the ninth. After Jovante Dorris singled and Judah Wilbur walked, the Jaguars took the lead for good on a three-run home run by O’Neill Burgos, who drove in four runs in the game and was named the SWAC Tourney’s Most Valuable Player.
Enrique Ozoa retired the final three stunned JSU batters to close the game. He would go on to retire the Tigers’ next three batters to earn the save and give the Jaguars’ the automatic NCAA Tournament bid from the SWAC.