JACKSON, Miss. — The Jackson State baseball team split the first two games of its first SWAC series of the season at Braddy Field. The Tigers lost the opening game of the series 8-1 but bounced back to pick up a 12-7 decision.
The Tigers scored the first run of the game when Melvin Rodriguez scored on a Fred Hampton single. AAMU tied the game in the fourth inning (1-1). The Bulldogs took control of the game in the seventh inning by scoring four runs. AAMU put the game away in the ninth with a three-run inning.
Sergio Para (1-2) suffered the loss for JSU. In 2.1 inning of work he allowed three runs on six hits. Offensively, the Tigers were led by Gary Thomas, Rodriguez and Hampton. Thomas went 3-4 at the plate, Rodriguez went 2-5 with a run and Hampton went 2-5 with a RBI.
The Tigers rallied from a two-run deficit to win the nightcap 12-7. AAMU held a 2-0 advantage through the first four innings. JSU took the lead with a four-run fifth inning and took a commanding 4-2 lead. JSU added another four runs in the sixth to make the score 8-4. JSU scored its final four runs in the seventh inning and held off AAMU for the remainder of the game.
Alexander Juday (2-1) pitched six innings to pick up the win. He allowed four runs on eight hits and had three strikeouts. Rodriguez led the Tigers’ offensive efforts as he hit for the cycle (a single, double, triple and a home run). He also had nine RBIs. Thomas also had a good game, going 3-4 at the plate with three runs. Jose Cruz, who was recently named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, finished with three hits and three runs.
The two teams return to action Sunday, March 9, to play the final game of the series at Braddy Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.