JACKSONVILLE — After a series-opening shutout win Friday night, Jacksonville State split Saturday’s doubleheader with Belmont to take the overall series victory.
The Gamecock offense was shut down in a 7-1 loss in Saturday’s opener, but used two bases-loaded, two-out triples early in the second game to jump ahead of Belmont and held on to win 9-4.
“We were able to do a lot of things with two outs,” JSU coach Jim Case said. “ We were able to keep innings going and score runs. Devin Brown stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs and tripled. That was huge for us.”
In the second inning, Brown got a ball to drop into right field for a triple that scored three. A Nash Adams bunt and a Cole Frederick double later, and Jacksonville State had chased Bruins starter Korey Bell and built a 5-0 lead.
With JSU leading 6-1 in the third, a Frederick triple brought home three more and gave the Gamecocks the commanding 9-1 lead.
Belmont chipped away at the stagnant JSU offense, but the Gamecocks held on to win.
After scoring in the first three innings Friday night, the Gamecock offense faced a slower start Saturday. Jacksonville State was held without a hit in the first three innings of Saturday’s opener, falling behind Belmont 4-0 as the Bruins scored their first runs of the series.
Carson Crowe made sure the Gamecocks wouldn’t get shut out, blasting a solo shot over the right field fence in the sixth to tally the only run of the night for JSU. The Bruins scored three more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
What to know
—Twice Brown stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in Jacksonville State’s series-clinching win, and twice he delivered. After his big triple in the second inning, he scored another with a bases-loaded single in the third. He finished 4-for-4 with four RBIs in the game.
—Christian Edwards was credited with the win for the Gamecocks in the second game. In 2 2/3 innings, Edwards struck out two and allowed two hits and two runs.
—Crowe’s homer was one of just three hits in Saturday’s opener for the Gamecocks. Isaac Alexander and Adams also reached base for Jacksonville State. Belmont’s Joshua South pitched a complete game, stifling the Gamecock batters and picking up the win.
—With the series win over Belmont, the Gamecocks have now secured a win in their last three series.
— Brown on his big performance: “I was just trying to get my foot down and see it early. I’ve struggled a little bit lately, but my team has believed in me and kept trusting in me. I’m happy to come through for them today.”
—Case on the opening game: “Their kid pitched great. He threw strikes basically any time he wanted to. We had very few opportunities, and the ones we had we couldn’t do anything with them. When you get dominated like that, you really wonder how you’re going to bounce back.”
—The Gamecocks (19-16, 10-5 OVC) will hit the road for a Thursday-Saturday series against Eastern Kentucky before returning home to Jim Case Stadium to play in-state opponents Auburn and Alabama on back to back days April 23 and 24.