The Jacksonville State Gamecocks (4-2) suffered the first two losses of the season in a weekend series against the Kennesaw State Owls (5-2), but was able to avoid the sweep in Saturday’s double-header.
After the mid-week series with UAB was postponed due to weather, the Gamecocks’ bats had cooled off since the sweep of Youngstown State.
The Owls managed to out-score the Gamecocks 14-8 in Friday’s game at Rudy Abbot Field, scoring at least one run in six of the nine innings. The Gamecocks tried to keep it close with a 4-3 score at the end of the third inning, but Kennesaw State’s bats were just too hot to handle. By the end of the sixth the Owls had taken a 12-5 lead.
However, the Owls were not perfect. A throwing error in the second allowed Tyler Gamble to score unearned. In the third, both Gamble and Taylor Hawthorne were walked with bases loaded that allowed both Gavin Golsan and Paul Angel to cross the plate.
Angel was again allowed to score in the sixth when Paschal Petrongolo singled to left. Later in the same inning, both Petrongolo and Gamble sored when Joe McGuire managed to single. The Gamecocks scored three more in the eighth thanks to a one-run double by Petrongolo and a two-run single by McGuire allowed Golsan, Petrongolo and Angel to come home.
Zachary Fowler suffered his first lost of the season in Friday’s game. He pitched 4 2/3 innings that allowed nine hits and seven runs. Grant Chandler, who pitched for 2 2/3 innings, allowed both five hits and runs in relieve for Fowler. Jesse Fry finished the game. He allowed four hits and two runs.
Saturday saw a double-header. In the first game, Jacksonville State once again fell to the Owls 4-2, but kept the score closer than they had in Friday’s game.
Ryan Sebra grounded out in the fourth, but this allowed Clayton Daniel to score. In the eights, Petrongolo reached base on a fielders choice which allowed Hawthorne to cross home.
Tony Urban suffered his first loss of the season in Saturday afternoon’s game. He pitched five innings, allowed eight hits, and gave up two runs in the loss. He was relived by McGuire who allowed both two hits and two runs. Michael McCreless took the mound in the ninth. He only allowed one hit.
The third game of the series, and the second of the double-header, saw the Gamecocks come out on top 11-4. Jacksonville State’s bats had finally warmed up, and they had an excellent second game at the plate. The Gamecocks accounted for 11 hits and no errors.
Gamble reached base on a single to right field, which allowed Daniel to score. A hit by McGuire brought Gamble home. Kennesaw State answered with two runs of their own in the second inning, but the Gamecocks responded with four in the third. An error allowed Petrongolo to score the first run in the third. A single by Hayden White allowed Gamble to cross. White and McGuire would also score in the inning.
Lone runs by the Owls in the fourth and fifth closed Jacksonville State’s lead to only two runs, however, the Gamecocks would score again in the bottom of the fifth, seventh and eighth to finish the game.
A single by Hawthorne in the fifth allowed White to score his second run of the game. A bases-loaded walk in the seventh allowed Hawthorne to score. In the eighth, a single by Daniel allowed Ty Pierce and White to score. A Gamble single to left brought Golsan home.
Sebra got his first win of the season during Saturday night’s game. He went 4 1/3 innings pitched, allowed four hits, and gave up four runs. Justin Hoyt, who pitched one inning and allowed just one hit, relieved Sebra. Graham Officer and Travis Stout closed out the series by not allowing any hit or runs.
The Gamecocks will travel to Auburn to take on the Tigers Friday in a three game series. The Tigers are 6-2 this season and 6-1 at home.