MURRAY, Ky. — Jacksonville State has been struggling at various times this
year with its pitching and, of late, its hitting. But Saturday, the Gamecocks
were strong in both areas.
Senior Jake Ball had four hits to become the school's all-time hits leader
and the pitching staff threw its second shutout of the season in a 12-0 victory
over Murray State that clinched the No. 2 seed for next week's Ohio Valley
The Gamecocks (31-25, 18-9) will open their tournament title defense
Thursday, 2:30 p.m., against the highest seeded winner from the opening round
Jax State collected 20 hits in the game. In addition to Ball's four, Bert
Smith, Clay Whittemore and Kyle McCreary each finished with three, while Nick
Cleckler, Eric Beck and Josh Sanders each had two.
Ball and Whittemore both had three RBIs, while Smith drove in two.
Ball tied All-American Stewart Lee's career record of 241 hits with a single
to right field in the second inning and broke it in the third with a single down
the right field line.
The Hokes Bluff native now holds school records for hits (244), games played
(219), career starts (214), at-bats (744) and walks (107).
“It's quite an honor, but honestly, I'm more excited that we won the game,”
Freshman Ben Tootle (6-3) allowed just four hits and had four strikeouts in
seven solid innings to earn his third straight win. The Oxford native has
allowed just one run over his last 14 2/3 innings.
Tootle and Alex Jones held the Racers to five hits in the game. It was the
Gamecocks' first shutout since Tootle and Clark Jinks blanked Middle Tennessee
in a seven-inning game the first weekend of the season.
“Obviously, I thought it was good for Ben to pitch with the big lead,” JSU
coach Jim Case said. “He kept throwing up zeros and we added a few runs as the
game went along.”
JSU took control of the game early, scoring six runs in the second inning and
three in the third. The Gamecocks scored all nine runs with two outs and
finished 16-for-24 with two outs.
The All-OVC Team and Player of the Year awards will be announced Tuesday
OVC Tournament in Paducah, Ky.
Thursday, 2:30 p.m., FM 91.9
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com
Note: JSU faculty, staff and students may access The
Anniston Star online through their affiliation with the University.
Those not affiliated with JSU may have to subscribe to receive The
Anniston Star online. If you already subscribe to The Anniston
Star, you receive a complimentary online membership. This provides
complete access to all the content and services of the site at no
additional charge. Otherwise there is a $5 online monthly charge for
their online service. Contact The Anniston Star for information.
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.