By: Santeria Evans | Sports Editor
Photo by: Michael Dunn
On March 12, the South Alabama Jaguars Men’s baseball team faced the Jacksonville State Gamecocks for game one at Stanky Field in Mobile, AL. The Gamecocks won over the Jaguars 11-2 Friday night.
Senior Michael Sandle’s hit streak and on-base streak were snapped at five games apiece. Right-handed reliever freshman Cade Henry made his Jaguar debut and recorded his first career strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Jaguar right-hander freshman Jeremy Lee (1-1) allowed five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts without issuing a walk in three innings pitched in the loss. Junior Ethan Wilson recorded the Jaguars’ lone hit, a two-run double, in the bottom of the third.
The loss snapped a three-game Jaguar win streak in the series. They met again on Saturday for game two against the Gamecocks and lost 8-2.
Head Coach Mark Calvi stated that there is more work to be done. “One hit is not going to win any baseball games. We have a capable offense and defense—a capable team—that hasn’t played to its capabilities yet and that’s on me. We have to keep working, grinding and getting better and come out tomorrow and play better.”
During Saturday’s game, the Jaguars scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Caleb Balgaard singled through the right side of the infield and scored on a two-out RBI single by Sandle on a ball up the middle that ricocheted off of JSU right-hander Dylan Hathcock into shallow right field.
The Jaguars doubled their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Sandle lifted a 2-2 pitch from Hathcock over the left field wall for a solo home run, which marked his first of the season.
Jaguar senior left-hander Tyler Lehrmann allowed a leadoff single in the top of the second but then retired 12 consecutive JSU batters before allowing a leadoff solo home run to Adams in the top of the sixth. Lehrmann allowed four runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings pitched to suffer his first loss of the season.
Sandle’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth marked his first home run of the season. Junior Brandon Auerbach extended his on-base streak to three games with a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wilson extended his hitting streak and on-base streak to four games with a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior Right-hander Carson Hall made his Jaguar debut with a relief spot in the top of the ninth inning, and recorded his first career strikeout.
Calvi stated that after Saturday’s game, the losses are tough. “It seems like nothing is going our way,” said Calvi. “But we have to make our own breaks and keep working hard.”
The Jaguars will face Southern Mississippi Eagles on March 16 at Stanky Field at 6:30 P.M.