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October 30, 2014

Gamecocks stumble, then take OVC tourney

JSU becomes first school in conference history to win six straight for title

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Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:13 pm | Updated: 6:00 pm, Tue May 27, 2014.

JACKSON, Tenn. – Jacksonville State became the first school in Ohio Valley Conference history to win six-straight games after claiming a 4-2 come-from-behind win over Tennessee Tech on Sunday afternoon to win the 2014 OVC Baseball Championship.

After losing 2-1 on Wednesday night to fall into elimination bracket, JSU reeled off six straight wins – the longest winning streak of the season – to eliminate every single team in this year’s tournament to win the school’s fourth OVC Championship. JSU also won the tournament title in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Junior Zachary Fowler pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just five hits and had six strikeouts to earn the win on the mound, while Travis Stout recorded the final two outs to pick up his 15th save of the year. Stout also tied the school career record by picking up his 32nd career save and is now tied for second in OVC history.

Tennessee Tech struck first after the Golden Eagles scored two runs in the third inning after Zach Zarzour reached on a one-out single and Zach Stephens followed with a 2-run home run over the left field wall to give TTU a 2-0 lead.

Jax State got on the board in the fifth inning after Michael Bishop hit an inside-the-park home run to cut the lead to 2-1. It was the first JSU inside-the-park home run since Daniel Adamson at Morehead State in 2010.

The Gamecocks battled back to tie the game in the sixth inning after Ryan Sebra led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Joe McGuire followed with a pinch-hit, 10-pitch at-bat and singled to right field to score Sebra and tie the game at 1-1.

Jacksonville State took the lead in the seventh inning after Griff Gordon reached on a two-out single and moved to third on Paschal Petrongolo’s single. Sebra then singled to right field and give JSU a 3-2 lead. Andrew Bishop then singled to right center to score Petrongolo and give JSU a 4-2 lead.

Michael Mason and Stout combined to record the final nine outs as the Gamecocks won their 90th straight game when leading after eight innings.

Gordon, Petrongolo and Sebra each had two hits to lead the Gamecocks, who finished with 10 hits in the game. Tennessee Tech was led by Jake Rowland and Stephens with two hits each, while Zarzour had the Golden Eagles only other hit.

JSU 10, Tennessee Tech 7

Senior Michael Bishop had three hits, including a solo home run, to lead Jacksonville State to a 10-7 come-from-behind win over No. 2 Tennessee Tech and force a winner-take-all showdown on Sunday afternoon for the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship.

The Gamecocks defeated Southeast Missouri State 6-2 earlier in the day to advance to the face the Golden Eagles. The Jax State pitching staff was superb all day after allowing just two runs scored in a total of 18 innings against the top two offensive teams in the league on Saturday.

The Gamecocks got on the board in the first inning after Bishop led off the game with a double and scored on Griff Gordon’s single up the middle for the early 1-0 lead.

Jax State then scored three more runs in the third inning as Eddie Mora-Loera and Andrew Bishop each drove in a run, while Ryan Sebra scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 4-0.

Jacksonville State added a run in the top of the fifth inning to after Sebra led off with a double and later scored on Tyler Gamble’s infield single as the Gamecocks built a 5-0 lead.

Pitching on just two days rest, JSU starter Taylor Shields took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, before the Tennessee Tech bats got going in the fifth inning.

The Golden Eagles hit three 2-run home runs, one each by Tyler Brazelton, Zach Stephens and Dylan Bosheers, while Jake Rowland scored on a sacrifice fly as Tech took a 7-6 lead.

The Gamecocks came right back in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game after Petrongolo had a RBI single through the right side to score Michael Bishop and tie the game at 7-7.

Jax State took the lead for good in the seventh after Gamble led off with a single and later scored on Golsan’s infield grounder to give JSU the lead, before Bishop slugged his third home run of the season with a solo shot over the left field wall for a 9-7 lead.

The Gamecocks added an insurance run in the ninth after Andrew Bishop led off with a double and scored on Cal Lambert’s single through the left side for the final margin.

Eight of the nine starters had a hit for the Gamecocks for the third straight game, led by three by Michael Bishop, while Andrew Bishop, Mora-Loera, Gordon, Sebra, and Gamble each had two hits.

Ryan Sebra (2-0) went 2 2/3 innings in relief and allowed just two hits to earn the win on the mound, while Travis Stout recorded the final four outs to pick up his 13th save of the year and 31st of his career.

JSU 7, Morehead 1

Adam Polk allowed just six hits and one run to lead Jacksonville State to a 7-1 win over Morehead State to eliminate the Eagles from the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on Friday evening.

Polk threw 96 pitches and allowed his only run in the top of the eighth inning to improve to 5-4 on the season. Luke Schneider (2-4) got stuck with the loss after giving up seven hits and four runs.

Jax State took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning after Eddie Mora-Loera reached on a one-out single and Griff Gordon followed with a triple, before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Paschal Petrongolo.

The Gamecocks added two more runs in the third after Mora-Loera reached on a one-out double and Gordon followed with a RBI single to centerfield to score Mora-Loera. Petrongolo followed with another single to right field to give JSU a 4-0 lead.

Jacksonville State added three insurance runs in the seventh inning after Mora-Loera dorve in a pair of runs with his second double of the day, and Gordon got his third hit of the day with a single to right field to score Gavin Golsan and give JSU a 7-0 lead.

Morehead State scored its only run in the eighth after Chris Robinson scored on Nick Newell’s infield grounder for the final margin.

Mora-Loera and Gordon each had three hits, while Petrongolo had a pair of hits to lead the Gamecocks’ 11-hit attack. Robby Spencer had two hits to lead Morehead State.

JSU 13, Eastern Illinois 2

Paschal Petrongolo and Tyler Gamble each had four hits, while Casey Antley tossed a complete-game to lead Jacksonville State to a 13-2 win over Eastern Illinois to eliminate the Panthers at the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament.

Antley tossed his first career nine-inning complete game after scattering nine hits and recording five strikeouts to earn the win. He threw 123 pitches to improve to 3-4 on the season as the Gamecocks improve to 32-25 to advance to face Morehead State later this afternoon.

The Gamecocks jumped on EIU pitching early and scored three runs in the first inning after Michael Bishop scored on a Ryan Sebra’s safety squeeze, and Tyler Gamble drove in two more runs with a single to give JSU a 3-0 lead.

Jax State then added five more runs in the second inning after Petrongolo and Gamble each hit a 2-run home run, while Andrew Bishop added a RBI single as the Gamecocks took an 8-0 lead.

The Panthers scored their only two runs in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 8-2, but Jax State scored four in the sixth inning after Sebra drove in a pair of runs, while Petrongolo and Andrew Bishop each drove in a run to give JSU a 12-2 lead.

Gordon scored the Gamecocks’ final run on Joe McGuire’s single in the seventh inning as the Gamecocks claimed their ninth win in the last 10 meetings between the two teams.

The Gamecocks finished with 21 hits, just one shy of the school’s OVC Tournament record, led by four each from Petrongolo and Gamble as every player in the line-up recorded a hit. Sebra finished with three hits, while Gordon, Golsan and Stephen Bartlett each had two hits.

Tyler Schweigert led Eastern Illinois with two hits. Christian Slazinik got stuck with the loss on the mound for EIU after recording just two outs in the top of the first inning.

JSU 7, SIU-Edwardsville 5

Andrew Bishop had three hits and drove in three runs as Jacksonville State rallied for a 7-5 win over SIU-Edwardsville after scoring three runs in the ninth inning to eliminate the Cougars from the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament on Thursday.

Jacksonville State improves to 31-25 on the season, while SIU-Edwardsville ends the year at 21-33. The Gamecocks will learn their opponent later this evening at the conclusion of Thursday’s tournament games.

SIU-Edwardsville took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning to break the tie after Jacob Stewart scored on Denton Reed’s two-out single up the middle, but the Gamecocks would rally for their seventh final at-bat win of the season.

Michael Bishop led off with a single to left field and moved to second on Eddie Mora-Loera’s sacrifice bunt. Griff Gordon followed with a RBI single to center field to score Bishop and tie the game at 5-5. Ryan Sebra followed with a two-out single to center field to score Gordon and give Jax State a 6-5 lead.

Andrew Bishop then followed with a single to right field to score Sebra and give the Gamecocks a 7-5 lead, before Travis Stout retired the side in the bottom of the ninth inning to pick up his 12th save of the year.

Graham Officer (3-0) had one strikeout in just 1/3 inning of relief to pick up the win for the Gamecocks. Zach Malach gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings to suffer the loss for the Cougars.

“I was really proud of the effort that our guys gave today,” said JSU head coach Jim Case. “I thought it showed the character of our team and I was really proud of them for continuing to battle.”

SIUE took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Zach Little scored on a sacrifice fly, but the Gamecocks took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.

Andrew Bishop led off with a double and scored on Tyler Gamble’s triple to left center to tie the game at 1-1, and then Gamble scored on an infield grounder to give JSU a 2-1 lead.

The Cougars answered in the home half of the fifth by scoring a pair of runs to take a 3-2 lead, before Jax State scored two more runs in the sixth inning.

Paschal Petrongolo doubled to right center and Sebra followed with a single, before Andrew Bishop doubled to right center to score both runs and give the Gamecocks a 4-3 lead.

SIU-Edwardsville tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two-out RBI single by Nick Lombardo to make the score 4-4 until the Cougars took the lead in the eighth inning.

Michael Bishop, Andrew Bishop and Sebra each had three hits, while Gordon added two hits to lead the Gamecocks’ 15-hit attack. Reed had three hits and Lombardo had two to lead the Cougars.

Eastern Illinois 2, JSU 1

Matt Borens had 11 strikeouts and was one out away from a complete game as Eastern Illinois claimed a 2-1 win over Jacksonville State in the opening round of the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament on Wednesday evening.

Borens limited the Gamecocks to just one hit through 8 2/3 innings, but Jax State mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0.

Gavin Golsan led off the ninth inning and reached on an EIU throwing error and moved to second on Joe McGuire’s infield grounder. After Borens struck out the next batter, he walked Griff Gordon on a nine-pitch at-bat, which was his first walk issued on the night..

Paschal Petrongolo followed with a double down the left field line that scored Golsan and Gordon moved to third after the ball was ruled a ground rule double after the ball went under the fence.

EIU made a pitching change and Troy Barton was brought in and struck out the final batter to earn his eighth save of the year.

“I thought the game could have gone either way,” said JSU head coach Jim Case. “Their guy was really good, and I thought our guy was really good. We had a chance at the end of the game and that’s all you can ask for.”

Borens improved to 6-4 on the season after throwing 125 pitches and walking just one batter to earn the win for the Panthers.

“You had a sense in about the third inning there wasn’t going to be too many runs scored,” added Case. “We were hoping to catch a break and push across a run or two, but it was just hard to get anything going against a guy who had 11 strikeouts and who doesn’t walk many batters.”

Zachary Fowler was the tough luck loser for the Gamecocks after he gave up an unearned run in the sixth inning. Fowler went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one hit and had six strikeouts on the mound.

The Panthers scored the first run of the game after Dane Sauer led off the sixth and reached on an error and moved to second after Caleb Howell walked. Mitch Gasbarro followed with a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up before Demetre Taylor followed with a ground out to second that allowed Sauer to score and give EIU a 1-0 lead.

Eastern Illinois scored their other run in the top of the eighth inning after Sauer walked and stole second. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to third, Gasbarro followed with a RBI doubled to left center to score Sauer and give EIU a 2-0 lead.

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