Chandler Bentley, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State baseball team took home the win on Tuesday night in an 8-4 victory against the Kennesaw State Owls.
This was JSU’s last meeting with Kennesaw State as non-conference rivals, as they will become conference rivals when Jacksonville State officially joins the Owls in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The game began in Kennesaw’s favor, with a run in the first inning from second baseman Jesse Sherrill. After this, there were no runs from either team until the bottom of the third.
This came when Jacksonville’s left fielder, Mason Maners, pulled off a two-base steal from first and made it to third base. Cole Fredric allowed Maners the opportunity to score with a hit to center field, and Maners ran in to put the Gamecocks on the board.
The most action in the game occurred in the fourth and fifth innings, in which Jacksonville earned six runs total and Kennesaw earned two. At the top of the fourth, JSU switched pitchers to Reid Fagerstrom and gave three quick outs to KSU, including one strike-out.
At the bottom of the fourth, however, Jacksonville thrived. After two walks given by Kennesaw, the bases were loaded after the fourth hitter of the inning, Derrick Jackson Jr. Maners sent the ball across the ground to center field and made it to first base, while designated hitter Alex Strachan and shortstop Isaac Alexander ran in to add two more runs to the scoreboard.
After a wild pitch and a string of steals, one of them allowing center fielder Tre Kirklin to advance to first base, the Gamecocks finished the inning out strong with another run by Jackson Jr.
After Kennesaw third baseman Jake Coro and designated hitter Skylar McPhee make it to cover up second and third base at the top of the fifth, Sherrill and right fielder Nick Colina hit and are out before reaching first. During Colina’s hit to center field, McPhee put another run on the board for KSU.
No runs were earned by either team until the top of the seventh, in which Sherrill made up for his out in the fifth by making it to first on a hit and stealing two bases during left fielder Tyler Tolve’s turn to bat. After Tolve’s single, Sherrill made it in for a run. This would be the last run for KSU, as the score at the seventh inning stretch stood with JSU leading 7-4.
The bottom of the seventh and the top of the eighth are wrapped up quickly, with both teams pitching two strike-outs before the final turn to bat for Kennesaw. Before Kennesaw’s final at-bat, however, Jacksonville earned their final runs of the night with Kirklin scoring after his double and catcher Alex Webb’s hit directly after.
The game wrapped up after the top of the ninth, in which Kennesaw failed to make any runs to catch up. The Gamecocks improved to 16-15, while the Owls fell to 19-9.
The next game for the Gamecocks is the start of the series against Eastern Kentucky in Richmond, Ky. for a conference series on Friday, Apr. 16. The next home game for the Gamecocks is Tuesday, Apr. 20 at 6 p.m. against in-state rival Troy.