Joseph Estrada’s Homer Lifts Alabama State Past Jacksonville State

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Alabama State Sports Information

 

OXFORD, Ala. – Joseph Estrada belted his team-leading fifth homer of the season, a solo shot, in the eighth inning and the Alabama State University baseball overcame two errors in the ninth to hold on and defeat Jacksonville State, 6-5, on Tuesday night at Choccolocco Park.

The Hornets (18-19) raced out to a 4-1 lead through five innings before the Gamecocks rallied and tied the game at 5 with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

That set the stage for Estrada’s game-winning home run as the junior centerfielder sent a Trent Simpson 3-2 pitch over the wall in right to give Alabama State the lead for good.

“I just went up to the plate with an approach that me and the coaches went over before the at bat and tried to excute it,” Estrada, who went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, said. “It was a great win for us as a team because we needed it to get back on track.”

The Hornets, who entered the game on a four-game losing streak, were able to pounce on the Gamecocks with two runs in the top of the first.

Estrada led off the game and was hit by a pitch. He stole second and scored on Cage Cox‘s single to right. Ray Hernandez followed with a base hit to center as Cox advanced 90 feet to second. Gustavo Rios drew a walk to load the bases and with one down, Hunter Phillips walked to bring in Cox. With the bases loaded, Alabama State was looking for more runs, but Eriq White flied out and Hunter Allen struck out to end the inning.

The Hornets continued to give starter Terrell McCall run support as Alabama State took a 4-0 lead with two more runs in the top of the second.

Joshua Dunson started the frame and was hit by a pitch. Estrada walked as Dunston advanced to second. After a pitching change, Cox, who went 2-for-5, reached on a fielder’s choice as Estrada was out at second as Dunson took third. Hernandez, who went 2-for-4 struck out and Rios singled to right center to plate Dunson as Cox went from first to third. Carlos Ocasio, who was 1-for-5 at the plate, singled to left, scoring Cox. The inning ended when Phillips grounded out to the pitcher to end the Alabama State scoring.

Jacksonville State (18-15) picked up one run in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 4-1, but Alabama State answered with a run in the sixth to extend the advantage.

Allen, who went 1-for-4, doubled to left center and scored on a Cox two-out single, giving the Hornets a 5-1 lead.

But the Gamecocks answered and knocked McCall out of the game in the bottom of the sixth with four runs on three hits, tying the game at 5.

McCall pitched 5.2 innings and didn’t figure in the decision. He surrendered five runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Chase Laney worked 1.0 inning in relief and gave up three hits. Austin Bizzle (2-0) earned the victory in relief with 2.1 innings pitched. He scattered two hits and struck out two.

The Gamecocks used five pitchers as starter Michael McCreless went just 1.0 inning. He was tagged for four runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Nate Sylvester, Grant Chandler, Simpson and Corley Woods worked in relief. Simpson (1-3) was tagged with the loss in 2.0 innings.

Alabama State will seek its second consecutive win on Wednesday night when the Hornets visit Mobile, Ala. First pitch against South Alabama is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Stanky Field.

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