HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Jackson State baseball team earned its first sweep of the season by beating the Alabama A&M Bulldogs three straight games in the first SWAC weekend series of the season Saturday and Sunday. Following the weekend's action the Tigers improved to a 5-6 overall record.
In Saturday's double-header the Tigers took both games winning the first 10-0 and the second 10-7. Desmond Russell, the SWAC preseason Pitcher of the Year, picked up the win in the opener. In six innings of work he gave up only six hits, while striking out four batters. Josh Freeman suffered the loss for Alabama A&M.
Russell also helped his own cause going 2-3 at the plate with two runs, four RBI and a home run. Charles Tilery, Jose Cruz and Stephen Curtis also recorded two hits. Gary Thomas had three hits, two runs and an RBI. TJ Lindsey led AAMU with two hits.
JSU put its first run on the scoreboard in the first inning when Fred Hampton scored on a Russell sacrifice fly. JSU scored five more runs in the second. Bryce Taylor, Gary Thomas all scored when Cruz hit a triple and he then scored on an error by the third baseman. Curtis single to get on base and scored on a passed ball. Tilery scored on a Russell double.
The Tigers scored three more runs in the third and fourth innings. Taylor scored on a Thomas double in the third, while Russell hit a two run homer in the fourth. JSU scored the final run of the game in the fifth inning when Thomas scored on a Curtis single.
In the second game of the series, Alabama A&M put up a more resistant effort against JSU. After two innings of play the Bulldogs held a 4-1 advantage. JSU put the first run of the game on the scoreboard when Russell scored on an Ethan Bright single. At the bottom of the first AAMU tied the game at 1-1.
The Bulldogs added another three runs in the second inning. Neither team scored in the third. Both teams scored two in the fourth. At the top of the inning, Taylor scored on an Aneko Knowles single and Thomas scored on a Hampton sacrifice fly.
The Tigers took control of the game in the ninth inning, scoring four runs to take the lead. Knowles and Babineaux both scored on a Hampton double. Hampton then scored on a Russell groundout. Malcolm Tate scored the final run of the inning when Nick Marigny doubled. AAMU scored a run at the bottom of the inning to cut JSU's lead to 7-6.
JSU scored three insurance runs in the 10th inning. Thomas scored on a Josue Deleon sacrifice fly. Knowles reach base via error and two batters later Tilery homered to score the final two runs of the game.
Brandon Gregory picked up the win for the Tigers. In 3.1 innings of work he gave up six runs on six hits, while striking out three batters. Tilery led the Tigers offense going 3-6 at the plate with a run, two RBI and a homer. Hampton had a hit, a run and three RBI.
In Sunday's single game JSU once again dominated, winning 8-5. Knowles picked up the win, going five strong innings and allowing four runs on five hits. He also recorded four strikeouts. Bright led JSU's offense going a perfect 5-5 at the plate with two runs and an RBI.
Alabama A&M got on the scoreboard first, scoring two at the bottom of the first inning. The Tigers took its first lead of the game in the third inning. Hampton and Tilery scored on a Tate double who then scored on a Taylor sacrifice fly to give JSU a 3-2 advantage.
AAMU scored a run in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. The Tigers took a brief lead in the fifth when Bright scored on a Thomas single. The Bulldogs scored their final two runs in the sixth inning to take a 5-4 advantage.
The Tigers won the game in the ninth inning, putting four runs on the scoreboard. Tilery scored the first run of the inning when he was sent home on a Bright single. Bright then scored on a passed ball and Thomas and Taylor scored on a Cruz single.
Jackson State returns to action Tuesday, Mar. 5 when the Tigers host Loyola in non-conference action at Braddy Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.