Baseball loses third straight game to Jacksonville State

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Stephen Alvarez

Alabama is on a three-game losing streak to Jacksonville State. It is Alabama’s longest losing streak against the Gamecocks.

Cody Estremera

 Timely hitting was Alabama’s Achilles heel once again. The Crimson Tide failed to record a hit with a runner on base and finished just 1-for-9 with two outs, losing to Jacksonville State 4-0. It was the first time in 38 matchups Jacksonville State shutout the Crimson Tide.

“Jacksonville State absolutely took it to us,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “I am really, really disappointed in our group. I obviously did a very poor job of trying to get our kids ready to play tonight. It was noticeably our worst effort of the year.”

The Crimson Tide had plenty of chances early in the game to scratch across a run. It advanced a runner into scoring position the first four innings. Cobie Vance made it to third twice in the first three innings. 

Alabama was 0-16 with runners on base, including going 0-9 with runners in scoring position. 

“Sometimes you just need to get a hit in baseball, and we aren’t getting enough of those,” Bohannon said. 

For the most part, Jacksonville State had the same problem, going 3-for-12 with two outs. The only exception was the fifth inning, when it scored all four of its runs. 

The Gamecocks started the inning with a walk. Alabama had a chance to erase all damage, but the groundball to short hit off the heel of Jett Manning’s glove, resulting in a fielder’s choice instead of a double play. After a single to put runners on first and second, Sam Gardner stuck out pinch hitter Hayden White for the second out, but two straight singles scored the game’s first three runs of the game. 

Gardner walked the next batter, ending his night, but the Gamecocks scored again after Trent Simpson singled up the middle for the fourth and final run of the game. The three singles were the only hits that Jacksonville State recorded with two outs.

Before the fifth, Gardner was cruising. He had allowed just one hit and three total base runners. The hit came on the first batter of the game. Gardner finished with 4 and 2/3 innings pitched with four strikeouts and four walks.

The Jacksonville State pitching staff was superb. The combination of Sean Rape, Grant Chandler and Trent Simpson shut down Alabama’s offense. It allowed just three hits, all of which led off an inning, and spaced out four walks. Vance recorded two of Alabama’s three hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Alabama travels to Columbia, Missouri for its weekend series against Missouri. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6.