The Jacksonville State baseball team recorded an important win over the University of Alabama at Birmingham this past Wednesday, February 19 with a final score of 5-3. With the win, the Gamecocks moved to a 2-2 record on the season.
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.
JACKSONVILLE — Entering the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday against Tennessee Tech, Jacksonville State needed a run to stay alive.
Two batters and two home runs later, Jacksonville State had an 8-7 win and a series sweep over the Golden Eagles.
Nic Gaddis led off the inning and blasted one over the left-field line. Then Taylor Craven, pinch-hitting for his first at-bat of the day, crushed the game winner to the same spot.
“I took a fastball that I probably should have swung at, so I was sitting on that second one,” Craven said. “I knew it was coming, it hung, so I just tried to put a good swing on it.”
The Gamecocks’ win earned them their first sweep of the year in the three-game series over the Golden Eagles. JSU came into the day with a series victory already clinched thanks to wins Friday and Saturday.
“It’s a big thing to be able to sweep a conference series,” JSU coach Jim Case said. “It’s hard to sweep no matter what. When you fall behind like we did for the second time in two days, I was really proud of our guys that they battled back and found a way to win.”
Tennessee Tech got on the board first Sunday when John Dyer singled to plate Kevin Strohschein in the top of the first. The Golden Eagles did more damage in the top of the third, as Jason Hinchman blasted a three-run homer out of left field, putting the Golden Eagles up 4-0.
Aided by errors, Jacksonville State battled back in the bottom of the third. Isaiah Magwood scored after reaching second due to an error, then, after Gaddis drove in Cole Frederick, Tennessee Tech was unable to catch Chase Robinson’s infield fly, allowing Gaddis to come home.
After Tech added three again in the fourth, Gaddis doubled with the bases loaded to score two in the bottom of the inning and bring the Gamecocks back within 7-5.
Isaac Alexander plated Gaddis with an RBI single in the seventh to draw the Gamecocks within one, setting up the ninth-inning heroics.
What to know
—Gaddis was his usual menace for opponents at the plate on Sunday. The senior finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, including his ninth-inning homer.
—Christian Edwards (2-3) picked up the win for the Gamecock after pitching the final 1 2/3 innings, holding Tennessee Tech scoreless and striking out four.
—The sweep over Tennessee Tech was the first of the Golden Eagles by the Gamecocks since 2010.
—Craven on his game-winner: “I’ve been struggling a lot, but I’ve had good teammates around me that encourage me every day, so it’s just nice to step up for them.”
—Case on bringing in Craven: “I had some thoughts going in on what I would do if Gaddis got on base and what I would do if he didn’t. What I didn’t factor in was what I would do if he hit a home run. I had to make kind of a quick decision. I felt like if (Craven) could get one up, it had a chance to go out.”
—The Gamecocks (14-14, 6-3 OVC) get back to a .500 winning percentage and earn their first series sweep of the season. The Gamecocks will travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo., next for a three-game series beginning Friday.
A freezing cold contest on the diamond at Jim Case Stadium saw JSU come up on the losing end of a close match against in-state rival Samford.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 4 run lead in the first, which they would never lose en route to a 5-3 win over the Gamecocks. JSU falls to 5-8 on the season while Samford improves to 8-3.
JSU starter Colin Casey was shelled for 4 runs off 6 hits early, and reliever Corley Woods was touched for the fifth Samford run in the third inning. Michael Gilliland took over in the fourth and in just his second outing, he struck out 5 of the 13 batters he faced. He retired the last 11 straight.
Junior Chase Robinson plated JSU’s first run with 2 outs in the fifth, but it wouldn’t be until the 8th inning when JSU really started to chip away at the deficit. Robinson led off the inning with a walk, followed by an RBI triple by Tre Kirklin. Alex Webb plated Kirklin on a groundout, but the rally fell short, and JSU was unable to rack up any more runs.
Nic Gaddis also contributed a double and a single in the loss.
JSU will get a rematch against Samford in Jacksonville on April 30th. The next Gamecock homestand will be this weekend, as Jax St starts their OVC slate against Eastern Illinois.
Jacksonville State fell victim to Jacksonville University in a series sweep over the weekend, in a three game stretch in which the Gamecocks struggled to muster any offense.
Game one saw JSU take a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth, but Christian Edwards would blow the save, as the Dolphins managed to walk it off 2-1. JSU’s Garrett Farmer dominated over seven innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Alex Webb accounted for all of JSU’s offense with a leadoff home run in the fourth inning. Webb went 3-for-4, while junior Nic Gaddis and sophomore Andrew Naismith provide the only other offense for the Gamecocks, each going 1-for-4. JSU struck out 14 times and left five men in scoring position.
Game two saw the Gamecocks continue to struggle offensively. JSU could muster only two hits in a game in which they were no-hit through six. Gaddis led off the 7th with a hit-by-pitch, followed by a walk from Isaac Alexander. Naismith would break up the no hitter and plated Gaddis, but was thrown out attempting to leg out a double. Cole Frederick plated Alexander with an RBI groundout, and Tre Kirklin would provide JSU with their last hit of the day with a two out single in the 7th, and the Gamecocks would go on to lose 5-2. Freshman pitcher Trey Fortner took the loss in just 3.1 innings of work.
Sunday’s rubber match featured an exciting Jax State rally late, as they attempted to fight back from a large deficit early. JU put up four runs in the first and another two in the second. Freshman Gamecock pitcher Isaiah Magwood took the loss after just one inning of work. JU extended their lead to 16-1 by the 8th before Jax State’s bats finally woke up. Nash Adams, Alex Strachan, and Tre Kirklin all recorded RBIs to cut the deficit to 16-4 going into the 9th. Taylor Craven, Brannon, and Carson Crowe all plated runs before the rally fell short and JSU lost 16-7. Gaddis extended his on-base streak to 7.
JSU returns to Jim Case Stadium this Friday for a three-game weekend series vs Florida International.