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No. 30 baseball goes 1-2 at College of Charleston

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The South Alabama baseball team was off to a 7-0 start to begin the 2013 season when they headed for a five game road trip against Jacksonville State and College of Charleston last week.
In game one against Jacksonville State, the Jags fell behind in the third inning 1-0 and the score remained the same until the eighth inning, when Nolan Earley delivered a two-out, two-run double to secure a USA win 3-1.
Tripp Cecil picked up the victory after working 2 2/3 shutout innings with four strikeouts while no allowing a baserunner. Cecil relieved starter Andrew Fonzi, who worked 6 1/3 innings while allowing four hits and one run. He also added four strikeouts of his own to go with three walks.
“I was just battling and trying to keep the at-bat alive,” said Earley. “He finally made a mistake, and I put a good swing on it. It was a fastball middle-away and I just went with the pitch.”
The Jags had only two hits all game. The two-RBI double by Earley and a single by Dustin Dalken.
In game two against Jacksonville State, the Jaguar’s bats came alive, collecting 15 team hits to guide them to an 8-3 victory.
Jordan Patterson finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI’s. Bud Collura, Jeff DeBlieux and Whitt Dorsey each had two hits. Hayden Jones went 3-for-4 at the plate.
Matt Bell started his first career game for the Jags and picked up the win, giving up four hits and three runs through five innings pitched. He retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. Brandon Boyle, Dylan Stamey, Hunter Soleymani, J.A. Harville and Kyle Bartsch combined to give up one hit over four innings of relief.
“He[Bell] threw up zeros,” said head coach Mark Calvi. “He did what he had to do. He bent a little but didn’t break, and gave us a chance to score some runs. And we were pretty good out of the bullpen again.”
In game one of a three game series against College of Charleston, the Jags were handed their first loss of the season 12-2 after starting out 9-0.
USA starter James Traylor didn’t make it out of the fourth, giving up five hits and seven runs, five earned, through 3 1/3 innings. Payton Gardner came in relief and didn’t fare any better, giving up four hits and four runs through three innings. Dillon Buhrkuhl made his first appearance of the season and gave up one run and three hits through 1 2/3 innings.
The Jags combined for four hits at the plate, with the two RBI’s coming from players who did not collect a hit: Cole Billingsley and Jeff DeBlieux. Whitt Dorsey finished 1-for-2 with a double and run scored.
The Jags came back to pick up the win 3-0 in game two against C of C.
Jacob Noble pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings, giving up only three hits to go with eight strikeouts. Brandon Boyle worked 2/3 innings before giving way to Kyle Bartsch, who picked up his second save of the season by striking out the side in the ninth.
“It was a tough day to play baseball,” said Calvi. “It was cold and windy but Noble did a fantastic job. Kyle Bartsch came out and did a great job at the end. He threw strikes and was really good.”
Drew Cofield broke a scoreless game in the eighth with a double with two outs. Bud Collura finished 3-for-5 with a double and RBI in the ninth.
In the rubber match, the Jags fell 3-2 in their first series loss of the season.
USA actually outhit C of C 7-6, but the Cougars were able to get to starter Jarron Cito early in the game to take the one-run victory.
Cito lasted 4 2/3 innings while giving up four hits and three runs with his five strikeouts. Jordan Patterson and Dylan Stamey combined to throw 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, but the damage was already done.
Along with making his first pitching appearance of the season, Patterson also added his first home run of the season in the second inning. Graham Odom led the Jags going 3-for-4 at the plate.
The Jags are now 10-2, their best record through 12 games since 2001. They will travel to face Nicholls State on March 5 before returning home to face Southern Mississippi on March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Stanky Field.

Written by JT Crabtree | LOC Editor

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