OXFORD — Three Jacksonville State pitchers combined for the program's first no-hitter since 2000 and the 18th in the history of the program.
The senior trio of Colton Pate, Grant Chandler and Trent Simpson combined to shut down Radford in JSU's 5-0 win on Saturday at Choccolocco Park. It was the second game of a doubleheader, in which Radford took the opener 9-5.
Pate, who is from Lincoln, went the first six innings in his second outing of the year. He struck out eight and allowed just two Highlanders to reach base. He moved to 2-0 on the season and has accumulated 13 strikeouts in 11 innings this season. He also didn’t allow a run last weekend against Southern Illinois.
Chandler was the first Jax State reliever out of the bullpen in the seventh and struck out three Highlanders in his two innings. The Madison native made his 77th JSU appearance before handing over the no-hit bid to Simpson in the ninth.
Simpson, who had a home run in each of the two contests, fanned a pair in the ninth and induced a ground ball out. He belted his fourth home run of the season in the fifth for JSU's fifth run of the contest. The trio combined to fan 13 Highlanders and faced three over the minimum.
Bill White was the last Gamecocks pitcher to toss a no-hitter in 2000 against Alabama A&M. The last time JSU had a combined no-hitter was during the 1993 campaign after David Spence and Brad Angel combined to no-hit Miles College. It was the first no-no in the Ohio Valley Conference since 2013 with Murray State's Cameron Finch tossed a no-hitter against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
With the win in the night cap, the Gamecocks posted their second straight weekend series win and the sixth straight series win dating back to the final four OVC weekends in 2017. After JSU won on Friday on freshman Isaac Alexander's game-ending three-run home run, Radford (3-4) bounced back to even the series in the first game on Saturday.
The JSU pitching staff was staked to a 4-0 lead after the Gamecocks' offense pushed four runs across the plate in the opening at-bat. Simpson, who started the contest in the designated hitter spot, delivered a sacrifice fly to right, plating Nolan Greckel for the first run.
Alexander, the hero on Friday, came up big in his first plate appearance with a down the right field line, scoring Andrew Naismith and Nic Gaddis. Naismith had an RBI following Simpson's fly ball. Gaddis tallied his fifth double of the season before Alexander's two-bagger.
Naismith and Gaddis were two of three Gamecocks to have multiple hits. Freshman Cole Frederick carded two hits in the contest. In the twinbill, he had three hits along with Naismith. Senior Clayton Daniel recorded a pair of RBIs in the doubleheader on a pair of hits. The Guntersville product tallied his second career home run in the first inning of the opening game of the doubleheader.
The Gamecocks will make their second trip to Birmingham in a week with a midweek match up with UAB. The JSU-UAB contest will be played at Regions Park, the home of the Birmingham Barons in downtown Birmingham on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. UAB's weekend series at Arkansas State was washed out.
Following the Tuesday contest with UAB, Jax State will travel to Miami for a three-game series with Florida International next weekend.