Friday, February 3, 2023

A Preview of Jacksonville State Gamecocks

When the Ole Miss Rebels return to the diamond on Friday night it’ll be in the Oxford Regional of the NCAA Tournament against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. the Gamecocks have caused Ole Miss fans heartbreak in the past.

Rebel faithful remember two football seasons ago when Jacksonville State came into Oxford and defeated the Rebels in a comeback victory that likely cost the Rebel head coach then his job.

Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University  athletic website
The Gamecocks are a dangerous baseball team. Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University athletic website

Jacksonville State enters the NCAA tournament with the record of 36-25. They’re the winners of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Gamecocks are hitting at a .294 clip through the conference championship.

Griff Gordon leads JSU with a .376 average, including 96 hits, 7 home runs and 49 RBI. Sophomore first baseman Paschal Petrongolo was third on the team with a .324 average, but led the team with 19 doubles and 53 RBI.

The Gamecocks, led by Coach Jim Case, are currently riding a six-game winning streak as the “Chase to Omaha” gets geared up.

At 11 games above .500, this club is battle-tested against SEC teams. The Gamecocks did drop two close games to the Alabama Crimson Tide during the regular season. But JSU traveled into Starkville, Miss., on April 30 and defeated Mississippi State by the score of 2-1.

Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University athletic website
JSU has timely hitting and seasoned pitching. Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University athletic website

The road didn’t favor JSU this season as they ended with a 12-14 record away from their home field. Home was a different story. The Gamecocks prevailed against their opponents by a 18-10 margin. On neutral fields, the Gamecocks were tough with a mark of 6-1.

The Gamecocks will face the high-powered offense of the Ole Miss Rebels. Every spot in the Rebel order 1-9 can be a threat. On the mound, JSU will face the right-handed ace of the Rebel staff, Chris Ellis, who is 9-1 on the year.

The Rebels are 3-0 all-time against Jacksonville State with Ole Miss sweeping them back in 2002.

First pitch is set for 7 p.m. so be sure to come out and pack Swayze and support the Rebels.

—Adam Brown, sports editor of HottyToddy.com

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