Golden Eagles swept in OVC doubleheader at Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Jacksonville State found two ways to beat Tennessee Tech Friday, downing the Golden Eagles with slow and steady scoring on the way to a 7-1 win in the first game and with a sudden burst of runs in a 10-2 victory in the second game of an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader.

Bert Smith went 4-for-8 with four runs scored and four RBI on the afternoon to help the Gamecocks (15-12, 4-1 OVC) sweep the twinbill at Ruby Abbott Field. Tech (11-16, 0-2 OVC) couldn’t keep the streak alive after downing JSU five times last year.

The Gamecocks scored two runs in the third, one in the fourth and two in the sixth to stretch a 2-1 lead into their first game win then used seven-run sixth to stretch a 3-2 lead into their eight-run victory in game two.

JSU got out to a quick 2-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first of game one. Todd Cunningham, who was 3-for-6 in the two games with four runs scored, raced home on a Smith double. Smith scored on an infield single.

The Golden Eagles scored a run in the top of the third as Frankie Beech was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single by Tate McMillan, and scored on an RBI single from A.J. Kirby-Jones. McMillan finished with two of Tech’s seven hits.

JSU answered with two in the bottom of the third to make it a 4-1 lead, scored one in the fourth, and added two more in the sixth for the final margin.

JSU starting pitcher Jordan Beistline tossed 4 1/3 innings allowing one earned run on six hits with three strikeouts before giving way to Todd Hornsby in fifth. Hornsby (1-0) went the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts to record the win.

Adam Liberatore (3-3) suffered the loss for Tech, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts through five innings.

In game two, Tech scored a run in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Seth Edwards walk and was moved to second on a single by Brandon Crossman. Chad Hayes’ RBI single put the Golden Eagles ahead.

 JSU replied with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to build a 3-1 advantage.

Tech cut the deficit to 3-2 with a run in the fifth, using nearly the same script as the third. This time, Chad Oberacker walked and went to second on a single by Austin Wulf. With two outs, Edwards singled to load the bases and Ben Burgess followed with an RBI single. The Golden Eagles missed a chance to add runs, leaving the bases loaded.

Jacksonville erupted for seven runs in the sixth to break the game open. Sam Eberle had a two-run single and Jake Sharrock a two-run triple to highlight the inning.

Alex Jones (1-2) recorded eight strikeouts to pick up the win in relief of starter Hunter Rivers. Jones allowed one earned run on five hits over three innings while Rivers had a pair of strikeouts while allowing a run on five hits over the first four innings.

Lee Henry (1-3) took the loss, working five innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, walked four and struck out five.

Oberacker and McMillan each had two hits in the second game.

Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech close out the three-game conference series on Saturday a 1 p.m.