MARION, Ill. — Jacksonville State finally knows its opponent for its opener in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament.
The top-seeded Gamecocks (34-21) will face fourth-seeded Belmont on Thursday at 11 a.m. Rent One Park in Marion, Ill., is hosting the tournament. JSU is planning to start junior Garrett Farmer, who pitched seven scoreless innings against Belmont on April 12.
Belmont beat fifth-seeded Murray State 8-1 in a first-round game Wednesday. Belmont's Casey Queener turned in a complete-game performance, limiting the Racers to a run on four hits and posting nine strikeouts. JSU got a bye through the first round.
Thursday's contest will be the fourth meeting of the season between the two clubs after JSU won two of three in the regular-season meeting at Jim Case Stadium in April. The Gamecocks and Bruins will be meeting for just the second time in the OVC tournament. Belmont eliminated JSU in the 2013 tournament 6-3.
The Gamecocks have won 13 of their last 14 games, and they enter with six all-conference selections. Farmer is the league's pitcher of the year. He was joined on the first team by catcher Nic Gaddis and designated hitter Alex Webb.
Third baseman Cole Frederick made the second team, and pitcher Isaiah Magwood and outfielder Carson Crowe made the all-freshman squad.
Case was voted as the OVC coach of the year for the third time in his career.