Jacksonville State took advantage of early Alabama State miscues to score five unearned runs in the first four innings en route to a 7-1 win on Wednesday night at Rudy Abbott Field.
The Gamecocks split the two-game midweek set with the win over the Hornets and will take a 17-7 overall mark in their non-conference three-game weekend series at Southern Illinois. JSU and the Salukis will start the weekend on Friday at 1 p.m. at SIU's Richard Jones Stadium in Carbondale, Illinois. With the loss, ASU dropped to 16-12 on the season. The two clubs will play the rubber game of the three-game season series on April 26 in Montgomery, Alabama. ASU topped Jax State 8-5 on March 2 in Jacksonville.
JSU closed out a prolific month of March with a 14-4 mark and will enter April competition having won 11 of its last 14 games, including a 9-0 start in Ohio Valley Conference play.
Jax State didn't waste time putting runs on the board with two of the five unearned runs in the first inning. A dropped fly ball by the ASU right fielder off the bat of senior Tyler Gamble allowed seniorGavin Golsan to score the first run. Hayden White picked up his 20th RBI of the year with a ground ball out at first base.
Those two runs would be all that JSU pitchers would need to work with as head coach Jim Case used four pitchers in the Wednesday contest. Freshman left hander Derrick Adams turned in a quality start to earn his third win of the year. The Decatur, Alabama native tossed the first four innings and silenced the Hornets' bats as he allowed just two hits and tallied three strikeouts in the outing. The lone ASU run was an unearned run in the third inning off of Adams. Michael McCreeless and Joe McGuire combined for four innings and three strikeouts, while Dalton Etheridge finished the game in the ninth. After posting 10 strikeouts on Tuesday against Samford, JSU pitchers added seven strikeouts against ASU and limited the Hornets to seven hits.
After ASU sliced the deficit in half with the run in the third, JSU bounced back with another two-spot in the third. JSU was gifted another run as Clayton Daniel, who delivered a one-out double to left center and moved to third on a ground out, scored on a throwing error by the ASU shortstop that allowed Gamble to reach and in scoring position with two outs. Sophomore Hayden White made ASU pay for the miscue with a single to left field, plating Gamble and posting his second RBI of the game. White pushed his current hitting streak to 18 games with the base hit.
The Gamecocks scored their fifth run in the first four innings on an ASU pass ball. Freshman A.J. Reynolds collected a one-out double down the left field line and later moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on the catching miscue.
JSU added a pair of earned runs in the eighth off of ASU's 11th and 12th pitcher of the night. Sophomore Taylor Hawthorne carded a single in the frame and moved to third on Ty Pierce's single to left. Hawthorne was pushed across the plate on the second wild pitch of the night for ASU hurlers. Daniel tacked on his second hit of the game with an RBI single to close out the scoring. Daniel joined Golsan and Hawthorne with multiple hits in the contest.
All three games this weekend against SIU can be heard on the Gamecock Sports Network. Air time for Friday's afternoon tilt is set for 12:45 p.m. CST
Courtesy: JSU Sports Inforamtion (www.jsugamecocksports.com)