Gamecocks sweep OVC baseball series, drop Redhawks to sixth

Monday, April 14, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- It is probably a weekend the Southeast Missouri State baseball team would just as soon forget.

The Redhawks entered their three-game series at Jacksonville State in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference and just one-half game out of the top spot.

After JSU swept the series -- capped by Sunday's 10-7 victory -- the Redhawks are in sixth place. They trail league-leading Samford by three games on the loss side.

Southeast fell to 14-14 overall and 5-5 in OVC play. Preseason favorite JSU improved to 16-16 overall and a second-place 9-3 in the 10-team conference.

The Gamecocks scored 30 runs and banged out 37 hits in the series, including 14 hits Sunday.

Southeast, which had 12 hits, led 4-0 after 2 1/2 innings.

But the Gamecocks tied the contest in the bottom of the third and went ahead for good with a four-run fourth.

Junior outfielder Tyrell Cummings led the Redhawks offensively by going 4-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Cummings is tied for the OVC lead in both home runs (nine) and RBIs (38). He also paces Southeast with 10 doubles and his .331 average is second on the squad.

Junior first baseman Matt Wagner got his seventh homer of the season. He also tripled and had three RBIs.

Sophomore shortstop Nick Harris drilled his sixth home run, while sophomore catcher Jim Klocke had two hits. He leads the Redhawks with a .385 average.

On the mound, senior right-hander Ivan Nails received his first career OVC start and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed eight runs and nine hits.

Junior right-hander Jake Kemper, Southeast's third and final pitcher of the day, had the most success with two shutout innings.

Reigning OVC player of the year Clay Whittemore blasted a grand slam in the third inning to tie the score 4-4.

Steven Leach's three-run homer highlighted a four-run fourth for the Gamecocks that put them ahead to stay and knocked out Nails.

Southeast returns to action Tuesday with a 3 p.m. nonconference game at Southern Illinois. The Redhawks beat the Salukis 11-4 on Tuesday in Cape Girardeau.

Redhawks sign pitcher

Over the weekend, Southeast announced the signing of a third junior college pitcher for the 2009 season.

John Salazar is a right-hander from Golden West (Calif.) Community College.

Salazar is 5-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 12 starts this season. He has 65 strikeouts and seven walks in 68 2/3 innings.

"He's a strike thrower with great location," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said in a release. "He could be a front-line guy for us."

Salazar joins Kyle Gumieny, a right-hander at Lamar (Colo.) Community College, and Greg Hendrix, a left-hander from Shelton State (Ala.) Community College, as pitchers signing with Southeast last week.

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