Jo Mayo, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks battled against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on April 3 at the Rudy Abbott Field. This game concluded a three-game weekend series resulting in an unfortunate score of 5-10; meanwhile, the mascot from the Atlanta Braves, Blooper, made a guest appearance to liven up the crowd.
The first inning looked hopeful for the Gamecocks. Camden Lovrich started on the mound for the Gamecocks and only allowed Eastern Kentucky to get two hits. For Jacksonville’s first time up to bat, Mason Maners got a hit and got on first. This was the only hit for JSU in this inning. TJ Reeves walked onto first, and this was the 14th time he walked on this season. The first inning’s score was 0-0.
In the second inning, Eastern Kentucky got up by four runs. After a homerun and a few more hits to follow, Reeves caught a fly ball and sent the Gamecocks to the bottom of the second. For JSU in the second, Alexander hit a good pop fly, but the shortstop stole this run from him, resulting in a 0-4 inning.
JSU switched pitchers and their game picked up. With the catcher catching a foul tip, a strikeout, and Reeves catching another fly ball, this inning went by fast. In the top of the fourth, Hathcock struck out Eastern Kentucky back to back to back.
The Colonels had a rough inning while the Gamecocks started to come back. Cole Frederick made a line-drive down left field securing first base. Directly after came Reeves with another line drive down left, advancing Fredrick to second. With an incident by the catcher, Frederick stole home and gained the first score for JSU, making it 1-4 at the bottom of the fourth.
During this inning, Blooper made an appearance to get the crowd involved and distract the Colonel’s pitcher from behind home plate. He even had a dance battle with Jacksonville’s very own Cocky. Blooper was a great comedic relief to this difficult game.
With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, the Gamecocks brought AJ Causey out of the bullpen. After loading bases, Conner Davis unloaded on a deep grand slam to extend the Colonels’ lead by four runs. Alex Carignan hit the ball to the fence with bases loaded, scoring three runs to match the energy this inning and make it 4-8.
JSU substituted pitchers once again, making it Jake Peppers’ turn to pitch, Peppers allowed no runs or hits in his appearance. When asked if switching pitchers so often affected the team, left fielder Mason Maners claims it “doesn’t really affect us because we prepare for any of them.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Brooks Bryan slid into home to score off a wild pitch. Eastern Kentucky also managed to get runs in the late innings, making it 10-5 with the Colonels leading. After Peppers pitched a scoreless ninth inning,
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks lost 5-10 in a hard battle to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, concluding the series this weekend. With three consecutive losses to Eastern Kentucky, the Gamecocks must find out where they are struggling.
“We are pretty much going to work on everything for the next game,” Maners said, “We know what we are capable of.”
The team is preparing for their next game at Alabama State on Tuesday, April 5.