Jamerious Borden, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State University baseball team fell short to a nationally-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide team 5-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Ruby Abbott Field.
The Crimson Tide (4-0) led off the contest with a solo home run by Peyton Wilson and broke a 1-all deadlock in the fifth a two-run home run by Sam Praytor to give the Southeastern Conference (SEC) foe the lead and also to help fight off a pair of late-inning threats by the Gamecocks (1-3).
The two teams will wrap up the season set when they meet again on March 10 in Tuscaloosa.
JSU starter Isaiah Magwood limited the damage in the first inning and was able to push through other UA scoring chances in his four innings of work. Magwood tossed the first four frames and was touched for three hits, a run and a pair of strikeouts.
The Gamecocks were able to maintain a balance in the second inning off of UA starter Williams Freeman. Junior Isaac Alexander smacked an RBI double to the right center gap, scoring sophomore Carson Crowe turned in a one-out single to right field.
Graduate transfer Kyle Luigs was unable to put the Crimson Tide away in the fifth after a one-out walk preceded Praytors’s blast to left field for the lead. Luigs went 2.2 innings and tailed a pair of strikeouts. Freshman Jake Peppers continued to shine from the bullpen with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings-worked.
Senior Tre Kirklin extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his first home run of the season and 12th of his career and the fourth within the last 12 games. Also, he recorded three home runs in the last eight games of the 2020 season.
Alabama would end up extending their lead to three runs with two outs and a two-run single by William Hamiter in the seventh. The Gamecocks stranded six of their nine runners in the final three at bats. UA’s Chase Lee finished within the final 2.1 innings to lock down a save.
Despite suffering a loss from No. 22 Alabama, the Gamecocks still have a lot of baseball left this season as return to action this weekend, hosting Valparaiso in a three-game series that kicks off today. First pitch is set up 4 p.m. on Ruby Abbott Field at Jim Case Stadium. The series will wrap up on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.