JACKSONVILLE — Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning of Jacksonville State’s 6-2 win against Southern Illinois- Edwardsville on Friday, neither team had scored since the third.
Alex Webb changed that.
JSU loaded the bases and Webb cleared them, as the junior blasted a game-ending grand slam down the right field line to give the Gamecocks a victory.
“I was counting down the batters, and I thought it might could get to me with the bases loaded in the ninth,” Webb said. “As that was coming to fruition, it kind of got my blood pressure going. I’m just glad I was able to calm down and come through.”
Devin Brown started off the ninth with a double, then Nash Adams walked and Cole Frederick singled to load the bases for Webb.
JSU struck first Friday in the bottom of the first, when Nic Gaddis ripped a single up the middle to score Frederick from second.
SIUE added two in the top of the third thanks to a Brock Weimer double that gave the Cougars the lead, but a Webb single in the bottom of the inning plated Frederick again and tied the game up.
Then, the scoring went cold.
Neither team lit up the scoreboard for the next five innings, before Webb lit up the scoreboard — and JSU’s celebratory home run lights — to end the game.
What to know
—Webb got two hits in his five at-bats, good enough for five RBIs. Frederick finished 3-for-4, including a triple.
—Garrett Farmer got the start on the mound for JSU, pitching six innings and striking out seven while allowing two runs. Jackson Tavel entered in the seventh and Austin Brewster in the ninth to finish the job.
—With the win, JSU keeps pace with Austin Peay atop the OVC standings. After wins Friday from both teams, the squads are tied for first place in the league at 17-8. The two teams face off in their final three-game series of the season starting May 16.
—JSU coach Jim Case on the ninth inning: “They had done a very good job against us all day. I thought the big hit was the leadoff double to put us in position. Then it’s nice to have a guy like Webb come up that can get the bat on the ball.”
—Webb on his game-winner: “That’s the first time I’ve ever had a walk-off, so I was super excited. I got hyped and felt a little light-headed going around third.”
—JSU (28-21, 17-8 OVC) will face SIUE for game two of the series Saturday at 6 p.m. before concluding the series with a Mother’s Day matinee at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Gamecocks’ final home game of the season will be Tuesday night against UAB at 6 p.m.