Jo Mayo, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks played their first games of the season against the University of Kentucky Feb. 18-20. After battling to keep up, JSU fell short in all three games, making their record 0-3.
The first game was the best of the three score-wise. It also started out the most promising as Reid Fagerstrom struck out the first batter with the first few pitches of the game. A couple were able to get on base, and with the help of AJ Causey, they were sent home to put the first score on the board. After another inning and a couple of runs from the Wildcats, Fagerstrom for the Gamecocks hit a home run, making this the first of the season. Carson Crowe also hit a home run to put some more points on the board.
The two teams went back and forth on runs for most of the game, and by the end of the eighth inning, the teams were tied at a nerve-racking 8-8 with only the ninth inning left. Kentucky was able to pull off two runs in the ninth, but Jacksonville State was not able to come back, marking this their first loss at 8-10.
The second game against the Wildcats on Saturday had an enormous turnout. 1,566 people came to support; this was the third-largest turnout ever at the Jim Case Stadium. This game was similar to the first where Kentucky had a good lead. Even though Alex Strachan hit a triple, nobody was able to send him home, and Kentucky had a jump start 4-0. They would have had a bigger lead, but while the bases were loaded, Kody Putnam for JSU caught a high ball in the sun to seal off the inning.
The first score of this game from the Gamecocks came when T.J. Reeves hit a homerun sending Strachan home, being the only ones to score in this game. Reeves also later took a hard hit to the hand, but this was ruled a foul, and he did not get to walk to first base. Luckily, he was okay and continued to help the Gamecocks. This game ended in a 2-6 defeat.
The Sunday game had a tedious start. The only time JSU scored was when Jackson hit to shortstop, and Strachan made a sacrifice to get out at second so Norton could score. UK had three to our one, meaning JSU could have caught back up. Unfortunately, UK had a great rest of the game scoring five in the eighth and seven in the ninth. The finishing score for this game was a shocking 1-15.
The Gamecocks had a rough weekend that gradually became more unfortunate each day. Even though this weekend did not go as planned, they must get ready to play again on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the University of Alabama at 12 p.m. This Southeastern Conference game will be available to watch on the SEC+ network.