Jackson State lost an 11-inning game on a bases loaded walkoff single to Alabama State on Saturday afternoon snapping its nation’s best 15-game winning streak. The Tigers, 27-19 overall and 13-7 in conference play, were unable to score runs as they had many opportunities but failed leaving runners on base and losing the game 3-2.
Both starting pitchers, Alabama State’s Darren Kelly and Jackson State’s Garth Cahill, had rocky first innings as both teams plated one run a piece for a 1-1 tie after the first inning.
The Tigers got on board first. In the top of the first inning, leadoff hitter Chris Prentiss singled to right center and moved to second on a steal. Equon Smith’s sacrifice bunt advanced Prentiss to third. Jaylyn Williams singled to left field scoring Prentiss for the 1-0 lead.
The Hornets would answer right back in the bottom half of the inning. Leading off, Yamil Pagan homered on the first pitch to even it at 1-1.
Jackson State scored again in the third inning. Smith singled passed the shortstop to right field, stole second and came all the way around to score on a throwing error by Hornets’ catcher Santiago Garcia for a 2-1 advantage.
Both Kelly and Cahill kept each opponent off-balance throughout the contest.
Cahill pitched shutout ball. He finished with 7.1 innings pitched allowing one hit, two runs (one earned) and striking out five batters.
Kelly was just as impressive on the hill. With the exception of the error in the 3rd inning, he recorded 7.0 innings allowing eight hits and giving up two runs. He was able to pitch out of jams in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings when it appeared Jackson State was prepared to blow the game wide open, but they left 11 runners stranded on base.
Alabama State tied the game in the eighth inning. Cristopher DeGuzman reached base on a walk. LHP Mario Lopez replaced Cahill. He was greeted with a bunt single off the bat of Trevor Jurjevich moving DeGuzman to second. Pagan grounded to short, but the overthrow to first prevented Jackson State’s attempt to turn a double play. The throwing error allowed DeGuzman to come around from second and score to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the 11th inning the Hornets would win the game in walkoff fashion. Chris Lewis singled up the middle with bases loaded with no outs helping the Hornets defeat Jackson State 3-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) battle for first place in the Eastern Division.
At the plate for ASU, Pagan went 2 for 3 with a home run and one run batted in. In relief,Terrell McCall got the win in 3.1 innings pitched giving up one hit while striking out two batters. Jackson State’s Kevin Perez (4-3) suffered the loss.
With the win, Alabama State has a three game lead for first place in the Eastern Division.