Gamecocks take Tech, 9-7, in finale; earn 2-1 series win on the weekend
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Five Golden Eagles had multi-hit performances at the plate while three Tech batters roped home runs on Sunday, but the Tech bullpen couldn't stop the hot bats of the Gamecocks as JSU capped off this weekend's series with a 9-7 win.
Jacksonville put runs on the board in four straight innings to start the game off, building to a 6-1 lead headed into the bottom of the fifth frame. A two-out single by Sam Eberle in the first followed by a double by Ben Waldrip gave JSU the 1-0 lead which they would keep for the rest of the game.
The bottom of the order struck for JSU in the second when Blake Seguin dropped a single into right center off of Tech's southpaw starter, Chad Oberacker. Oberacker walked eight-spot hitter Andrew Bishop while Michael Bishop moved both runners into scoring position with a sac bunt down the third baseline. Lead off man Coty Blanchard punched an RBI single into center field to score Seguin for a 2-0 lead.
Evan Frazier, who led Tech at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance, ripped a solo shot for his one RBI of the game, that which narrowed the lead to 2-1 for Tech in their half of the second inning.
But Jacksonville continued to work Oberacker for three runs on four hits in the third, as Kyle Bluestein led off with a base-hit and both Bishops notched two-out singles, Andrew's working for one of the three RBI. Blanchard stepped up again with a two-RBI double to score the brothers before Garrett Baugh relieved Oberacker on the mound, striking out Jake Sharrock to end the inning with a new score of 5-1 to JSU. Eberle and Waldrip combined to make it 6-1 in the fourth after a double and stolen base by Eberle and an RBI ground-out to Waldrip.
The Golden Eagles continued to try and build momentum with a two-run fifth on three hits by Chad Hayes, Casanova Donaldson and Oberacker, but Jacksonville continued to answer. Hayes singled to start off the fifth and scored on Donaldson's two-out double, while Oberacker's RBI single sent Cass home and cut the lead to 6-3.
Tech's Cullen Park held the Gamecocks at bay in the sixth, but the Golden Eagles left two men stranded in the bottom of the frame and surrendered two more runs on three, two-out hits and an error in the top of the seventh. Blanchard, who went 4-for-5 with three RBI to lead JSU, Sharrock (1-for-3, 1 RBI) and Waldrip (2-for-6, 3 RBI) accounted for the hits of the inning.
A real opportunity presented itself in the bottom of the seventh for Tech, starting with Austin Wulf leading off with a double, advancing to third on a passed ball and scoring on a groundout to Oberacker.
Zach Stephens and Ben Burgess then launched back to back home runs to narrow Jacksonville's lead to two with a score of 8-6, but an even single-run eighth inning put the score at its final 9-7 to the Gamecocks.
Stephens and Burgess each went 2-for-5 on the game to join Frazier in the multi-hit category, while Donaldson went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Hayes showed a 2-for -4 effort at the plate.
While Blanchard led JSU at the dish, Eberle and Bluestein also displayed matching 3-for-5 performances, with Eberle also logging an RBI for the day.
Oberacker took the loss for Tech after 2.2 innings pitched before resigning to his duties as the designated hitter for the day. He allowed five runs on eight hits, striking out two en route to his new 0-1 record.
Jordan Beistline maintained his perfect record, improving to 4-0 in five innings pitched, notching four Ks, while Todd Hornsby earned his eighth save of the season, striking out two in 2.1 innings of work.
The Golden Eagles will hit the road for two mid-week games against Lipscomb on Tuesday and Alabama A&M on Wednesday. Both games are set to start at 3:30 p.m.