Late rally sends Jacksonville State past Tennessee Tech in series finale

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. --- Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State certainly showed that they are evenly matched Saturday afternoon. TTU put together a three-run seventh inning to take the lead, only to see JSU answer right back in the bottom of the inning as the Gamecocks eventually took the series with an 8-6 win.

The Golden Eagles (13-17, 5-4 OVC) showed their tenacity all game long despite trailing 5-1 through the fourth inning. Tech started to make some headway in the sixth off a solo-shot from Zach Stephens to make it 5-2, but Stephens biggest hit was still to come in the seventh.

Chad Hayes led off the seventh inning with a single and was eventually driven in by Austin Wulf's single up the middle. One out and two Jacksonville State pitchers later, it was Stephens who once again took center stage as he cranked his second home run of the game, a three-run shot, to give TTU the 6-5 lead.

Unfortunately for Tech, the Gamecocks (12-18, 6-3 OVC) were far from finished as they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh and tacked on an additional run in the eighth to secure the series with an 8-6 win.

JSU didn't waste any time out of the gate as they put together a two-out rally in which it posted three runs, all of which came from Kyle Bluestein's three-run home run.

Tech answered back quickly with an RBI-triple from Zephan Guyear in the second, but a solo shot from JSU's Sam Eberle in the third and an RBI-double from Michael Bishop extended the Gamecocks lead to four at 5-1.

Jacksonville State's Todd Hornsby (2-3) earned the win in relief as he threw 2.1 innings while giving up just one run on two hits. Tennessee Tech reliever Seth Lucio (1-2) was saddled with the loss as gave up two runs in 3.1 innings.

TTU starter Garrett Baugh surrendered five runs in 3.1 innings, while his counterpart Hunter Rivers gave up three runs in 6.1 innings.

Stephens drove in a team-high four RBI on both of his home runs, while Wulf and Guyear accounted for one RBI each.     

Bluestein drove in four runs of his own as well, while Eberle scored four runs and finished 5-for-5 at the plate.

TTU wraps up its road trip Tuesday as it takes on Belmont at 5:30 p.m.