After taking a loss on Friday, Jacksonville State bounced back to pick up a pair of wins over the weekend. On Friday, the Gamecocks never could get going against North Florida as starter Kurt Lipscomb struggled early, allowing 10 hits in just over three innings of work. Lipscomb didn’t have much offense backing him up as JSU went through a drought of more than five innings without picking up a hit.
North Florida had a 7-0 lead after a five-run fourth inning. The Gamecocks added four runs through the final frames but couldn’t make a game of it, falling 7-4.
Saturday looked much better as junior Casey Antley returned to the mound for JSU. In the early stages of the season, Antley has stood out as one of the lead pitchers for Jax State. It didn’t start well, as JSU gave up three runs in the first inning for the second day in a row, but the junior southpaw out of Holtville, AL settled down in what became a career day.
In the bottom of the first, junior catcher Stephen Bartlett sparked the Gamecocks with his two-run homer that brought in Adam Miller, who had walked earlier. The score stayed locked until the fifth, when Coty Blanchard blasted a three-run home run to put JSU on top 5-3. Antley (3-0) left after nearly seven innings pitched, picking up his third win of the season while striking out a career high eight batters along the way. JSU added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth on their way to securing a 7-4 win over Charleston Southern.
In the weekend finale, the Gamecocks again faced North Florida. This time around, Jax State came out ready and got on the board first, with Michael Bishop scoring in the first inning on a single from junior Griff Gordon. Gordon, who comes from Southern Union CC, has been the most consistent hitter for JSU early on and had a career-high three RBIs on Sunday.
In the second, the Gamecocks padded their lead, scoring four runs. It began with Tyler Gamble bring Bartlett home on a base hit, and was completed when Gordon snuck a two-out single back up the middle for two more runs.
Taylor Shields (2-1) picked up the win after scattering seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, while sophomore Travis Stout came in to earn his fourth save of the young season in a 5-2 win for JSU.
The Gamecocks open conference play this weekend in Martin, TN where they’ll play three games against the Skyhawks.