JACKSON, Tenn. — Jacksonville State won its third straight elimination game Friday afternoon to remain alive in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Third-seeded Jacksonville State beat Morehead State 7-1. Earlier in the day, the Gamecocks put out Eastern Illinois 13-2.
The Gamecocks (33-25) now must win three more elimination games to take the tournament crown. They'll play either Southeast Missouri or Tennessee Tech on Saturday at noon. A win there would mean another game Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
If the Gamecocks make it that far, they would play in a winner-take-all tournament final Sunday at noon.
On Friday, the Gamecocks won behind strong hitting, producing 20 combined runs and 32 hits. Also, starting pitchers Adam Polk and Chris Antley turned in sterling performances on the mound.
Against Morehead State, Polk (5-4) pitched seven strong innings for JSU, scattering six hits and allowing just one run. olk threw 96 pitches and allowed his only run in the top of the eighth inning.
JSU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Eddie Mora-Loera reached on a one-out single and Griff Gordon followed with a triple. Paschal Petrongolo then delivered a sacrifice fly to score Gordon.
The Gamecocks added two more runs in the third after Mora-Loera reached on a one-out double and Gordon followed with a single to center field to bring home 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 drove 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.
Mora-Loera and Gordon each had three hits, while Petrongolo had a pair of hits to lead the Gamecocks' 11-hit attack. Morehead State (29-28) was led at the plate by Robby Spencer who had two hits.
Earlier in the day, Antley pitched the first nine-inning complete game of his college baseball career in JSU's win over Eastern Illinois.
Antley (3-4) scattered nine hits and recorded five strikeouts to earn the win, throwing 123 pitches.
Petrongolo and Tyler Gamble each had four hits for the Gamecocks.
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 two-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 lineup recorded a hit. Sebra finished with three hits, while Gordon, Golsan and Stephen Bartlett each had two hits.
Tyler Schweigert led sixth-seeded 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.