Jacksonville State is all alone in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball standings.
The Gamecocks beat Austin Peay 4-3 in 10 innings Friday night to take the first game of a three-game series. The two teams entered this one tied for first place, and the series winner will win the league's regular-season championship.
JSU scored three runs in the first three innings, but Austin Peay got one back in the seventh and two more in the eighth to tie it 3-3. The Gamecocks re-took the lead for good in the top of the 10th when Devin Brown's sacrifice fly brought home Nic Gaddis.
Christian Edwards closed it out in the bottom of the inning, striking out Garrett Kueber for the last out.
JSU (32-21, 20-8 OVC) and Austin Peay (30-21, 19-9) will play again Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks, who have won 11 of their last 12, need one more win to lock up the crown.
Six to know
—Gaddis opened the top of the 10th with a single up the middle. Isaac Alexander bunted but wound up reaching base with an infield single. Andrew Naismith walked, setting up Brown for his sacrifice fly that scored the go-ahead run.
—Garrett Farmer started and worked 7⅓ innings while tying a season high with 12 strikeouts. He gave up five hits, three runs (all earned) and one walk. He did it against an Austin Peay lineup that is hitting an OVC-leading .310 in league games. The Govs also averaged 7.9 runs a game against conference opponents, which leads the league.
—Jackson Tavel entered in the bottom of the eighth with one out and bases loaded and needed only two pitches to get out of it. Garrett Spain grounded Tavel's second pitch back to him. Tavel threw to Gaddis, the catcher, for one out. Gaddis threw to Naismith, the first baseman, to complete the double play.
—Edwards came into the game in the bottom of the ninth and didn't give up a run in two pressure-packed innings of work. He struck out three and allowed only a two-out single, which came in the 10th.
—Tre Kirklin launched a home run to start the game for his sixth home run of the year. Cole Frederick was 3-for-5 to increase his hit streak to 13 straight games. His batting average is now .295.
—Gaddis and Alexander each went 2-for-5 with an RBI.