BIRMINGHAM - Jacksonville State's struggles continued on Wednesday in Birmingham as it dropped its fifth straight game in a 7-6 loss to the Blazers of UAB at Young Memorial Field.
After dropping the final two games at Murray State last weekend and being limited to four hits and a run at Alabama State on Tuesday, it was fielding miscues and ineffective pitching that aided in the Blazers win over Jax State. The loss dropped the JSU to 17-13 overall, while the Blazers improved to 19-12 in the season.
The Blazers took advantage of three JSU fielding errors in the first four innings that led to three of the seven UAB runs. UAB also manufactured runs with six stolen bases along with eight walks given up by JSU pitching. Combined, both teams tallied 17 walks and the two clubs left 26 on base combined.
After jumping out to a 5-1 lead, the Gamecocks began to chip away at the deficit after the Blazers' pitching staff started to be ineffective. Senior Ryan Sebra had the lone hit in the sixth with his third home run of the season with a solo blast to left center. JSU would add two more runs after a Tyler Gamble walk and an infield error that allowed Josh Bob to reach base. The misplayed ball allowed Gamble to get to third and would score on a wild pitch. Bobo would also score on a wild pitch in the frame to get the Gamecocks to a 5-4 deficit.
The Blazers responded in the home half of the sixth on a pair of sacrifice fly balls.
JSU added two more runs and had chances to equalize and take the lead in the eighth inning. Peyton Williams started the frame with a double down the left field line and scored on Gavin Golsan's third hit of the night. Golsan finished the night 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Elliot McCummings had the other RBI in the inning after lifting a deep fly ball in foul territory to score Golsan.
Gamble was the only other Gamecock with multiple hits in the lineup. UAB's Tyler Mims matched Golsan's hit total with three in the contest, while Nathan Vincent and Griffin Gum had two hits each. UAB's Esteban Tresgallo had the Blazers lone home run in the contest.
Freshman Jack Pierce, one of five JSU pitchers used in the affair, suffered his first loss of the season. UAB emptied its pitching staff by tossing seven pitchers in the win. Ryan Ruggles pitched two solid innings to earn his fourth win of the season, while Adam Lau came on to close out the game and earn his sixth save.
The Gamecocks return to Rudy Abbott Field this weekend for a key Ohio Valley Conference series with the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. The three-game series will get underway on Friday at 6 p.m. First pitch on Saturday and Sunday is set for 1 p.m. The Friday and Saturday contests will be available on the OVC Digital Network. All three games will be aired on the Gamecock Sports Network. Admission is free for JSU students and all fans ages 18 and under.