|Egly (L, 0-2)||2.2||3||3||3||4||3|
STARKVILLE, Miss. – South Alabama broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the ninth to claim a 4-1 victory over the Columbia baseball team Friday afternoon. A bases loaded walk brought in the game-winning run and the Jaguars’ (8-5) Travis Swaggerty added a key two-run single to put the game out of reach.
The Jaguars took advantage of a trio of miscues in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. The leadoff batter Drew LaBounty reached on a dropped fly ball and Swaggerty drew a one-out walk. A balk pushed both runners into scoring position and Wells Davis delivered a sac fly to begin the scoring.
In the bottom of the frame, Julian Bury and Ben Porter started things off with singles, but a double play threatened to halt the rally. However, Kyle Bartelman pulled a base-hit through the right side of the infield to even things up.
South Alabama put the go-ahead runs on base in the seventh and eighth innings, but reliever Harrisen Egly was able to buckle down to get out of the jam on both occasions until the Jaguars regained the lead in the ninth. A leadoff single led to a sacrifice bunt before two walks loaded the bases. After freezing the next batter on a 2-2 pitch for the second out, the third free pass of the inning plated the second South Alabama run. Swaggerty delivered a two-run single to make it 4-1 and put the exclamation point on the Jaguars’ win.
Starting pitcher Ethan Abrams worked six strong innings, allowing the one unearned run on three hits and striking out four. Egly (0-2) was charged with all three runs in the ninth.
Bartelman and Bury each had two hits for the Lions.
Nick DeSantis picked up the victory (3-0) after retiring the final six Columbia batters in the eighth and ninth. The Jaguars’ starter, Randy Bell fanned nine and gave up six hits in seven innings.
Columbia (0-4) will take on Mississippi State Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m. ET on day two of the round-robin tournament hosted by the Bulldogs. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network + on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.