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Baseball sweeps Georgia State

With+the+win+on+Sunday%2C+the+Jaguars+increase+their+win+streak+to+six.+Photo+courtesy+of+USAJaguars.+
With the win on Sunday, the Jaguars increase their win streak to six. Photo courtesy of USAJaguars.

With the win on Sunday, the Jaguars increase their win streak to six. Photo courtesy of USAJaguars.

With the win on Sunday, the Jaguars increase their win streak to six. Photo courtesy of USAJaguars.

Marissa Mason, Managing Editor

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South Alabama’s baseball team (15-9, 5-1 SBC) swept Georgia State (11-13, 1-5 SBC) in a three-game conference series this weekend, extending their winning streak to six over the weekend.

In game one of the series (7-0), Eddie Paparella homered to left field, earning two RBI as he and Will Luft scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. Three innings later, Luft singled to the pitcher earning and allowed Travis Swaggerty and Brendan Donovan to score in the bottom of the seventh.

Randy Bell tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only five hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts. Jared Barnes, Hunter Stokes and Dylan Hardy were walked in the beginning of the eighth inning, loading the bases. Drew LaBounty hit to center field, allowing Barnes to score. Donovan singled through the the right side, advancing Hardy to third while Stokes scored. Hardy scored off of a single to the right side by Swaggerty.  

Game two (16-6) started with Davis hitting a three-run home run, scoring Paparella and Swaggerty along with him. The next inning saw Barnes score as Donovan was walked with the bases loaded. Swaggerty then hit a grand slam to right field, scoring himself, Donovan, LaBounty and Stokes.    

The game stayed quiet until the top of the sixth inning when Georgia State’s Justin Jones and Ryan Blanton scored off of a hit by Jarrett Hood, bringing the game to 8-2 in favor of South Alabama. The Jaguars came back with a vengeance, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the sixth. Swaggerty scored on a wild pitch. Davis and Paparella scored on a single by Barnes. Barns and Luft then scored when Carter Perkins doubled. LaBounty doubled down the left field line, scoring Perkins and Stokes. Donovan singled up the middle to allow LaBounty to run the last score by the Jaguars for the remainder of the game.

Thomas Huston struck out a career-high eight batters without giving a single walk. Georgia State’s Will Kilgore and Jaylen Woullard scored at the top of the seventh, then Darius Sewell and Hood scored in the top of the eighth.

  The final game to earn the conference sweep (19-9) ended after eight inning due to the Sunday 10-run mercy rule. Donovan scored in the first inning off of a double by Paparella. Georgia State reacted, Sewell scoring on a wild pitch and tying the game 1-1 in the second inning.

Georgia State took the lead for the first time in the three-game series when Nick Gatewood singled to right field and Romero Greer and Woullard scored unearned in the top of the third. The Jags tied up the score right away when Hardy and LaBounty scored on two separate plays in the bottom of the third.

South Alabama continued in the next inning. Barnes scored off of Hardy’s single, LaBounty doubled to score Hardy, and Donovan singled to right field, scoring LaBounty. Georgia state scored Jones and Gatewood in the top of the fifth, bringing the score to a close 6-5 in USA’s favor. Barnes scored in the bottom of the sixth off of Donovan’s double to right center. Russo was hit by a pitch, advancing the loaded bases and allowing LaBounty to score.  Swaggerty and Donovan scored on Davis’s single to center field. Davis and Adam Wolfe scored as Luft singled up the middle, earning the last points of the inning. The Panthers scored their final three runs for the game in the seventh inning, closing in on the Jags’ lead 12-9. Swaggerty, LaBounty, and Davis scored in the bottom of the seventh. Barnes scored, LaBounty scored, and Donovan scored in the bottom of the eighth, ending the game due to the mercy rule and finishing their three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep.

The Jaguars plan to go on a nine game road stretch before returning to Stanky Field April 14, when they face Coastal Carolina. South Alabama next faces Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss., March 28 and will continue conference play in a three game series against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns March 31-April 2 in Lafayette, LA.

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Baseball sweeps Georgia State