JP Wood, Staff Sports Reporter
Gamecock baseball opened the Jim Case Stadium era with a 2-1 series win over in-state rivals North Alabama this weekend.
A crowd of 1,112 people witnessed an offensive rout in Jax State’s first on-campus baseball game in almost three years. Garrett Farmer picked up the Win in a 14-1 rout of the Lions in game one. Of the Gamecocks 14 hits, 9 were for extra bases.
Preseason All-American senior catcher Nic Gaddis collected two two-run homers, in the first and fourth respectively. Redshirt junior Garret Farmer held the Lions to just one run over five innings of work with 6 strikeouts, and relievers Austin Brewster and Alex London combined for five strikeouts and just one hit for the rest of the game.
In Game one of a Saturday double-header, JSU rallied back from a 9-5 deficit in the eighth inning, and a one run deficit in the ninth to defeat the Lions on a walk off home run by Andrew Naismith in front of a crowd of 800. True freshman Isaiah Magwood struggled in his debut, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits with 5 walks in just 1 and a third innings of work. Jackson Tavel was credited with the win.
Sophomore Cole Frederick of Tuscaloosa came through with a 3 RBI triple in the 8th to tie it. Alex Webb would tie the game again in the ninth before the walk off by Naismith.
In the final game of the series, UNA jumped out to an early two run lead, and that proved to be all they would need as they earned their first ever Division I baseball win in a 2-1 game. JSU struggled to take advantage of opportunities with 11 stranded baserunners, including two situations with the bases loaded. Redshirt freshman Trey Fortner went five innings, giving up both UNA runs and taking the loss. Alex Webb, who went 5-for-9 over the weekend, drove in the lone RBI.
JSU will close out the month on an in-state road trip, including trips to Tuscaloosa, UAB and Troy. The Gamecocks will return to Rudy Abbott Field at Jim Case Stadium on March 1st for a three-game series against Florida International.