Key inning does in JSU Gamecocks against Samford

From Jacksonville State University athletics:

JACKSONVILLE – A nine-run fourth inning did in the Jacksonville State baseball team in its home opener on Wednesday, when Samford claimed a 12-4 win at Rudy Abbott Field.

The Bulldogs (4-1) homered three times, twice in the big inning, to take control of a game the Gamecocks (0-2) led after three. Seniors Erik Underwood and Jay Davis each went 2-for-4 and drove in a run in the loss for JSU.

On a day where the wind was blowing out to left at 14 mph, four balls left the park in that direction. Davis hit JSU's lone homer, a solo blast in the second that gave the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead. Senior Daniel Watts started the game on the hill for JSU and held the Bulldogs scoreless on one hit through the first three innings, but he couldn't get out of the fourth.

He gave up five runs in the frame before being chased for Hunter Rivers, who gave up four more before getting out of the inning.

The Gamecocks scattered their other six hits among six players, including sophomore Andrew Bishop, who singled in his brother Michael after his leadoff triple in the seventh.

Samford was led at the plate by Brandon Miller, who went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer. Phillip Ervin's three-run homer in the fourth was his lone hit, while Austin Allison went 1-for-4 with a three-run double.

C.K. Irby (2-0) earned the win on the hill for Samford after allowing a run on two hits in three innings of work. He was the first of six Bulldog pitchers that threw at least one inning.

JSU also sent six pitchers to the mound, with the trio of Travis Stout, Cody Ponder and Todd Hornsby allowing just one baserunner over the final three innings. Hornsby struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.

The Gamecocks will host a three-game series with North Florida this weekend at Rudy Abbott Field, beginning with a 3 p.m. game on Friday.