JACKSON, Miss. - The Jackson State baseball team is gearing up for the official start to the 2013 season by hosting the JSU Baseball Tournament. Texas Southern and Eastern Illinois will travel to Jackson, MS to open tournament action. The tournament is scheduled to begin Friday, February 15 and go through Sunday, February 17.
Tigers of Texas Southern
Texas Southern ended the 2012 season with an overall record of 26-28 and a SWAC record of 8-15. TSU was selected to finish fourth in Western Division of the South Western Athletic Conference in the preseason poll. Returning senior first baseman, Tyler Flanagan, was named to the preseason All-SWAC second team. Flanagan finished the 2012 season with a .265 batting average, 30 hits, 24 RBIs, 23 runs, 9 doubles and three homeruns.
Panthers of Eastern Illinois
Eastern Illinois finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 29-29 and a conference record of 15-11. The Panthers were chosen to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll. With the last visit between the Panthers and Tigers resulting in a 2-1 win for JSU, the Panthers head to Jackson to avenge the loss. Eastern Illinois is set to face off against Jackson State Saturday, Feb. 16 with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Tigers tied for First in SWAC Preseason Coaches/SIDs poll
The Tigers finished the 2012 season with a 34-17 overall record and a 21-3 SWAC record. Key returners for the Tigers are Desmond Russell, Aneko Knowles, Jose Cruz and Ethan Bright. Junior pitcher, Desmond Russell made the preseason ALL-SWAC team and finished the 2012 season leading the SWAC with an ERA of 2.34. Aneko Knowles, Jose Cruz, Ethan Bright will also provide added support to help the team. Knowles recorded a .280 batting average while having 40 hits and stealing 19 bases. Cruz recorded 234 putouts for the Tigers and Bright was ranked third on the team in doubles (10) while recording 35 hits and 22 RBIs.