Information provided by Southern University Athletics
NEW ORLEANS, LA - Sophomore left hander J'Markus George struck out 10 Jackson State batters in eight complete innings on the mound as Southern University scored a 10-5 opening round win at the 2015 SWAC Baseball Tournament at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
With the win, the Jaguars advance to face the east No. 1 seed Alabama State Hornets Thursday afternoon. Alabama State, who entered the postseason tournament with a league best 21 wins, survived Prairie View A&M's upset bid with a 5-4 win Wednesday night.
First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Southern (18-22), which was outscored 23-14 in two regular season losses to Jackson State (30-24), belted out 15 hits with six Jaguars recording multi-hit outings..
Second baseman Marcus Tomlin and catcher Jose De la Torre each collected three hits and led the Jaguars onslaught while George scattered six Tiger hits over eight innings.
"J'Markus George was the man for the job," said head coach Roger Cador. "Jackson State steals bases [well and] he could hold them. He had his second pitches working. He threw the fastball when he needed to."
"He really pitched well."
George retired eight of JSU's first nine batter before SU posted a three-run inning in the bottom of the third. Robinson Mateo scored the game ‘s first run on a well-executed double steal after JSU starter Alexander Juday's allowed two SU baserunners after hitting Mateo and walking Lance Jones. Tyler Kirksey's RBI single scored Jones before Rivers Frederick sacrifice fly scored Kirksey, who had stolen second base and advance to third on a Tomlin single.
Meanwhile, George continued to baffle JSU hitters, retiring the side in order in the fourth and allowing one run each in the fifth and sixth inning. But after SU took what appeared to be a commanding 7-2 lead after six, George mettle was tested by a huge JSU rally in the seventh.
After yielding a lead off single and a RBI double, George watched as first baseman Sergio Torres's errant throw to third on a Bryce Brown bunt allowing JSU to score its second run of the inning with no outs. Despite the miscue, George, composed and confident, responded by forcing Wyatt Sutton to ground out to short prior to striking out Lamar Briggs. JSU capped the three-run inning with a Gary Thomas RBI single before Thomas was caught stealing to end the inning.
The Jaguars added three more runs over the next two innings to extend the lead to 10-5 before turning to All-SWAC second team pitcher Santos Saldivar after George walked the lead off hitter. Saldivar, who compiled a 4-6 record as the Jaguars ace, struck out the next two batters before creating game clinching force out at second.
Four Jaguars - Kirksey, Wallace, Webster and Mateo - recorded two hits while seven different batters posted at least one RBI. SU also set an aggressive tone on the base path posting five stolen bases.
With the defending SWAC champions dispatched to the loser's bracket, SU now prepares for Alabama State, which defeated Southern 10-9 in an epic winner's bracket semifinal game in the 2013 tournament. Cador and the Jaguars are 0-2 against Alabama State since the arrival of Hornet head coach Mervyl Melendez, losing by a combined three runs.