Bartlett’s homer give Gamecocks OVC sweep
Stephen Bartlett hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead Jacksonville State to a 2-1 win and the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series sweep over Eastern Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Rudy Abbott Field.

Jacksonville State improves to 15-14 overall and 9-3 in the OVC, while Eastern Illinois drops to 6-18 overall and 0-8 in the conference. It was the Gamecocks’ first walk-off win of this season and the first since JSU won 5-4 in 14 innings against Alabama State on May 1, 2012.

Travis Stout (2-0) picked up his second win of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth inning for Gamecocks, the winner of four straight games.  EIU’s Jake Johansmeier (1-2) suffered the loss after giving up the game winning hit for the Panthers.

Eastern Illinois took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Nick Priessman doubled down the left field line and came around to score after Jacob Reese singled to left field to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Jax State tied the game in the seventh inning after Coty Blanchard reached on an infield single and moved to third when Paschal Petrongolo singled to right field.  Eddie Mora-Loera followed with a single to left center to score Blanchard and tie the game at 1-1.

The Gamecocks had a chance to take the lead in the eighth inning after Johansmeier walked the bases loaded with one out, but he was able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs after Zach Elbirt and Mora-Loera both fouled out to the first baseman.

After Stout got out a jam in the top of the ninth inning after giving up back-to-back singles to Priessman and Demetre Taylor, he struck out Jacob Reese to setup the game winner for Bartlett in the home half of the inning.

After Johansmier struck out the first batter of the inning, Bartlett hit the first pitch he saw over the left centerfield fence to give the Gamecocks their fifth straight win over Eastern Illinois. Bartlett led the Gamecocks with two hits vs the Panthers.

Jacksonville State returns to action on Tuesday against Samford. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Rudy Abbott Field.
© 2013