Jacksonville State completed its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference weekend sweep on Sunday with a 16-13 slugfest over Eastern Kentucky at Turkey Hughes Field on the EKU campus.
Both teams combined for 29 runs on 36 hits in final game of the weekend after JSU took the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday. The win pushed JSU to 13-11 in the league and moved in to a tie for fifth in the conference standings with two weekends left on the regular season docket. JSU and Tennessee Tech have the same league record after the Golden Eagles took two of three from OVC leader Southeast Missouri over the weekend. JSU (26-21) will host second place Morehead State next weekend before closing out the regular season at UT Martin. EKU slipped to 17-27 overall and 8-15 in OVC play. After sweeping Belmont at home last weekend and EKU on the road, it's the first time since the 2008 season that JSU has posted three-game conference series sweeps in back-to-back weeks since 2008.
The Gamecocks nearly matched their season-high in hits against a conference foe as the 16 runs off 17 hits. A total of five Jax State hitters recorded multiple hit games, including a pair with three hits. Senior Ryan Sebra has the best bat of the day with a 4-for-6 contest and scored three times. Junior Paschal Petrongolo matched his season-best with four RBI on three hits, including a grand slam that highlighted an eight-run fifth inning for JSU.
For the weekend, Petrongolo was 6-for-17 (.438) and drove in seven runs. He tallied a pair of doubles and home run in the three games at EKU. Freshman second baseman Clayton Daniel completed the weekend 8-for-13 after three hits on Sunday. The Guntersville, Alabama-native had a pair of doubles and a triple against Colonel pitching.
JSU had it first of two big innings in the third as it pushed across four runs to take a 5-2 lead in the third. The big Jax State hit was a three-run home run by Tyler Gamble. Junior Elliot McCummings also had an RBI single in the inning, scoring Sebra, who followed Gamble round tripper with a double. EKU would get the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom half of the inning and would score for the fourth straight inning with a four-run fifth to take a 9-5 lead.
With a 13-9 lead through five JSU added a pair of runs in the sixth on a pair of hits with an RBI single by Peyton Williams the big hit in the frame. Williams had a pair of hits and three RBI in the contest. The Jax State pitching staff would shut down the Colonels for three innings until the eighth. The Maroon and White trimmed a 16-9 lead down to a three-run game with a productive eighth inning. EKU pushed four runs across the plate on four hits in the inning.
Both teams sent 15 different pitchers to the mound as JSU's Justin Hoyt was awarded his first win of the season after throwing just an inning. For the third straight day, senior Travis Stout notched his 12th save of the year, which moved him in to the top-10 of the NCAA in saves this season.
JSU returns home to close out the home season with a five-game homestand that begins on Tuesday, May 5 against in-state rival Samford. The Gamecocks will be looking to sweep the two-game season series with the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. at Rudy Abbott Field. Tuesday's contest will be Fan Appreciation Night at JSU with free admission for everyone.