Coley Birchfield, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks and Alabama Crimson Tide baseball squads played each other for the second time this spring on Wednesday, March 10.
Although the second meeting was played at Tuscaloosa’s Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the result was the same: an Alabama victory.
The talented Crimson Tide team displayed what earned them the No. 23 ranking in Division I baseball. Alabama starting pitcher Connor Shamblin pitched a career-high, six-inning performance while only allowing three Jax State hits. At the plate, Alabama capitalized on poor JSU pitching by earning eight walks, including three hit-by-pitches.
That inconsistent mound play forced JSU head baseball coach Jim Case to use six pitchers on the night, while the Crimson Tide only used three pitchers.
After the weekend series against Southern Mississippi, Case told the media, “The opportunities we had, we didn’t take advantage,” a phrase that continued into Wednesday’s performance as well.
It was a night in which no Jax State pitcher lasted more than three innings, and the team only earned a .161 batting average at the plate. The loss was their third straight, moving their record to 5-7.
Even through the struggles and losses, the Jacksonville State squad still has a long season ahead. This matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide marked the beginning of an eight-game road trip spanning a two-week period.
After a three-game series with South Alabama, the Gamecocks will begin OVC-play with a series against the Murray State Racers. The rigorous stretch of conference play will last over two months, leaving JSU with hope for a turnaround.
Fans can look forward to the team returning to Jacksonville on March 26, when they face Tennessee Tech in a weekend series. The series is scheduled for four games, including a Saturday double-header.
For more information regarding baseball or other JSU Gamecock sports, stay up to date with The Chanticleer. For ticket information, full schedules, or other information you can visit http://www.jsugamecocksports.com.