JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi’s hitting woes continued Friday night at Jim Case Stadium, as the Golden Eagles fell 6-0 to host Jacksonville State University.
USM suffered its first shutout since May 11, 2019, when the Golden Eagles lost at 4-0 at Rice University, and failed to score a run for just the third time over the past four springs.
Three Gamecock pitchers limited USM to six hits, issued only two walks and hit a batter. USM stranded all nine baserunners, including seven in scoring position with one out or less.
USM (4-5) fell below .500 for the first time this season with its third consecutive loss. Jacksonville State (5-4) logged its fourth win in its last five games with its first shutout of the season.
The Gamecocks banged out 13 hits, including two doubles, a triple and three home runs.
USM starting pitcher Hunter Stanley (0-1) lasted just four innings after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits.
Stanley walked only one and struck out nine, but gave up a solo home run to Cole Frederick to lead off the bottom of the first and another solo shot to Jaylen Williams to lead off the fourth inning.
In his last two games, Stanely has allowed five home runs, all solo shots.
JSU tacked on another run in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead when Stanley issued his one walk to Alex Strachan.
Strachan advanced to second on a botched pickoff attempt and went to third on bunt single by Isaac Alexander. Stanley struck out the nest two Gamecocks, but gave up Nash Adams’ two-out single to left field to score Strachan.
JSU starter Christian Edwards (1-0) sailed through the first three innings, retiring the first nine Golden Eagles, including four strikeouts.
But USM loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning with no outs as Gabe Montenegro walked, Reed Trimble reached on a bunt single and Charlie Fisher singled to left field.
But Edwards struck out the next three USM batters to get out of the jam.
Three more times, USM would put runners in scoring position with one out and fail to score, including:
- Sixth inning: runners at second base and third base; foul out to first base, strikeout
- Eighth inning: runners at first base and third base; strikeout, line out to shortstop
- Ninth inning: runners at second base and third base; fly out to right field, ground out to second base.
JSU would a run in the fifth inning on Strachan solo home run off USM reliever Matt Adams, then tack on two more runs in the eighth inning on Alexander’s triple and a two-out infield single by Nash Adams off USM reliever Chandler Best.
Edwards, who had four, 1-2-3 innings, allowed two hits in 5 2.3 inning. He walked two and struck 9ut eight.
Trey Fortner picked up his first save of the season, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.
All told, USM struck out 12 times, the Golden Eagles’ sixth game in nine contests this season with nine or more strikeouts.
Trimble led USM with two singles and a walk, while Montenegro reached twice on a single and walk. Slade Wilks smacked a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning.
Frederick went 3-for-5 with a single, double and home run, while Alexander was 3-for-4 with a triple and two singles.
Strachan hit a double and home run and scored three runs, Williams had a double and home run and Adams drove in two runs with a pair of singles.
The teams meet in the second contest in the three-game weekend series at 4 p.m. Saturday.