Jamerious Borden, Correspondent
Jacksonville State University’s baseball team combined for 23 runs in a Saturday twinbill to complete a weekend sweep of Valparaiso University at Jim Case Stadium.
The Gamecocks began the day with a 10-2 victory and continued to dominate on Valpo pitching in the nightcap with a 13-3 victory.
Jax State (4-3) opened the weekend with a walk-off, 5-4, win on Friday. JSU recorded 26 hits in two twinbill and put together one big offensive inning in each of the two games. The Gamecocks opened up the first game of the day with a four-run eighth inning and erased a one-run deficit in the second game with a seven-run third inning.
A magnificent trio of Gamecocks recorded at least three or more hits in the double header, led by senior Alex Webb’s five hits in eight at bats on the day.
Webb posted three RBIs and scored four times. Junior Isaac Alexander finished with a three-hit day and a pair of RBI, while junior Cole Frederick added three hits, including a triple that sparked JSU’s seven-run third inning. JSU had nine different hitters have multiple hits on the day.
Junior catcher Alex Carignan highlighted the nightcap with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate along with a bases-clearing double in the third inning. Carignan had a single to right and fled for his fourth RBI of the game.
Senior Tre Kirklin extended his hitting streak to 15 games dating back to the last eight games of 2020 with a double just inside the third base bag in the first game and collected his second home run of the season and fifth within the 15-game hitting streak to lead off the fifth inning for Jax State.
Junior Javier Ramirez also had a solid weekend with a pair of RBI hits and reached base five times via a walk as well.
Jax State did not need that amount of offensive firepower as the pitching staff turned in two solid outings, led by a pair of starters in junior Dylan Hathcock in the opener and junior Colin Casey in the series finale. Both turned in career performances as Hathcock fanned a career high seven Valpo hitters in six innings of work and did not issue a walk. Hathcock (1-0) scattered three hits and did not give up a run.
Casey tossed a solid five innings, striking out five and four hits with an unearned run in the second inning. His five innings of work were a career high along with strikeout total matching his first start of the season last Sunday against Tennessee Tech. As a staff, Jax State pitchers posted a total of 17 strikeouts while limiting Valpo to a .228 batting average on the weekend.
JSU returns home next weekend against Southern Mississippi in a three-game series on Rudy Abbott Field at Jim Case Stadium. The series with the Golden Eagles will take place on Friday, March 5 at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and broadcast live on WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station.