The JSU Gamecocks baseball team opened the season this past weekend, February 14 through February 16, with a series against Southeastern Missouri. The Tigers from Columbia, Missouri, took two of the three games over the weekend, but the Gamecocks avoided being swept by taking a 9-8 win over the Tigers during Sunday’s game.
The OVC head baseball coaches and communications directors gathered together to discuss the upcoming 2020 baseball season, and as a result, the JSU baseball team was picked No. 1 in the OVC preseason while also being chosen to win the 2020 OVC title.
The hype has already begun for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 2020 baseball season as their senior catcher, Alex Webb, was named to the Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American team by Diamond Sports. Although the season has yet to start the accolades are already pouring in.
If you saw the score heading into the fourth inning of this one, you likely wouldn’t have bothered to check again. Down 6-0 at nationally ranked Auburn early, the outlook on the rest of the game was bleak.
Don’t tell that to the JSU baseball team though. Having never counted themselves out, the Gamecocks rallied back in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 6, and later put the nail in Auburn’s coffin in the seventh, taking and then extending their lead to 11-6.
Andrew Naismith, a product of Auburn High School, made the most of his homecoming with a 3 RBI game and drew a bases loaded walk. Alex Webb, whose bat is on fire, made it 11 hits over 7 games with a two run double in the fourth. Nic Gaddis recorded the game tying RBI.
Freshmen Isaiah Magwood and Michael Gilliland held the Tigers scoreless over the rest of the game, allowing just 5 hits and striking out 10. Magwood recorded K’s for 7 of the 13 batters he faced.
6 Gamecocks walked in the go-ahead inning, with the go-ahead run being plated after Alex Strachan drew a bases loaded walk. Although they plated 5 runs in the inning, the Gamecocks only collected two hits.
Jax State how now won five of its last nine against the Plainsmen. Auburn will make a return trip to Jacksonville on Tuesday, April 23rd.
JSU will play an OVC series vs Belmont this weekend. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The script for Nash Adams as he stepped to the plate in the 11th inning was too perfect.
Bitter in-state rivals in town. Tied game in the bottom of the 11th. Stepping up as a pinch hitter. Bases loaded. Two outs.
After the redshirt freshman took a first pitch strike, he blasted pitch number two 370 feet over the left field wall to hand the Gamecocks the series sweep of Troy in a 9-5 grand slam walk off win. It is JSU’s first series sweep of Troy since 2015.
JSU entered the eighth inning down 5-3. After plating a run in the eighth, JSU grabbed an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth and threatened more, but Troy prevented the big inning and sent it to extras.
The top of the 10th inning went scoreless, and Gamecock pitcher Christian Edwards kept the Trojans off the board in the tenth to set up the 11th inning excitement. Nic Gaddis opened the frame with a single, and advanced to third at the cost of two outs. With two outs and a man on third, the Gamecocks drew back to back walks to load the bases.
Enter Nash Adams.
His two-out walk-off grand slam is the third game this year that the Gamecocks have won in the final at bat.
Jax State recorded home runs in the first and last at-bats of the game. Junior Tre Kirklin led off the game with a round-tripper, and followed that up with a second longball in the third. Kirklin would cut the late innings Troy lead to 4-3 after being plated by an Alex Webb single. Troy would extend the lead to 5-3 by way of a sac fly.
Seven different JSU pitchers got the call throughout the game. Cody Willing made the start and pitched two scoreless and struck out two, before being replaced by freshman Michael Gilliland. Christian Edwards earned his first win of the season, pitching the last two frames and keeping Troy off the board.
The Gamecocks next series will be a three-game weekend slate against Big Ten opponent Purdue. The first game will be 6:00 p.m. Friday. The win over Troy improves the Gamecocks to 8-10 on the season.