Jaxmen complete sweep at Murray
MURRAY, Ky. – Coty Blanchard hit a two-run home run as Jacksonville State rallied to score four runs in the ninth inning to claim a 10-7 win and sweep the Ohio Valley Conference series at Murray State on Sunday.

 Jax State improved to 20-16 overall and 12-3 in the conference and it marks the sixth final at-bat win for the Gamecocks this season and the second straight day over Murray State.

 With the Gamecocks trialing 7-6 heading into the ninth, Griff Gordon led off with a single, before Blanchard hit the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to give the Gamecocks an 8-7 lead. Blanchard finished with three hits on the day and was 8-for-12 against the ‘Breds in the series.

 Jax State added two more runs in the ninth inning after Andrew Bishop and Michael Bishop each singled in an insurance run as the Gamecocks pushed the lead to 10-7. Andrew Bishop also finished with three hits in the game, while also scoring three runs.

 Cody Ponder (2-1) picked up the win after recording a pair of strikeouts in one complete inning on the mound, while Travis Stout picked up his 10th save of the year after striking out the final batter of the game. Brock Downey (0-3) suffered the loss after giving up all four runs in the ninth inning for Murray.

 Murray took the early lead after Brandon Eggenschwiler reached on a two-out walk and came in to score after Noah Ziplo tripled to right center in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.

 The ‘Breds pushed the lead to 2-0 in the second after Nick Paradossi scored on a bases loaded walk, but the Gamecocks got on the board in the third inning after Michael Bishop had a two-out single and stole second. Chase Silvani then singled to left center to score Bishop and cut the lead to 2-1.

 Murray State extended the lead in the fourth inning after Ty Stetson singled and stole second, before Brandon Elliott singled to left field to score Stetson. He later came in to score after Zipko had a RBI single to give the ‘Breds a 5-1 lead.

 Jacksonville State cut into the lead in the fifth inning after Andrew Bishop walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Stephen Bartlett followed with a double down the right field line, before Gavin Golsan was hit by a pitch and Michael Bishop loaded the bases with a walk. Gordon then hit a deep fly to left field to score Bartlett as the Gamecocks cut the lead to 5-3.

 MSU tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning after Paul Ritzheimer had a RBI single to left field to score Taylor Mathews and push the lead to 6-3.

 Jax State battled back to tie the game at 6-6 in the eighth inning after scoring three runs, thanks to RBIs by Mora-Loera, Andrew Bishop and Bartlett, but Murray answered in the home half of the inning.

 The ‘Breds took advantage of an error and two hit-by-pitches and took the lead after Taylor Mathews had a RBI infield single for a 7-6 lead. Mathews led MSU with three hits, while Elliott also had three hits for the ‘Breds.

 Michael Bishop and Gordon each had two more hits for the Gamecocks, who finished with 15 in the game and 46 in the series with 31 runs scored.

 Jacksonville State returns to action with a three-game series against the top team in the OVC this weekend against Tennessee Tech at Rudy Abbott Field. Friday’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., while Saturday will start at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is slated for 1 p.m.
© 2013