SFA captures first win of season Tuesday
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:02
Justin Choate pitched seven solid innings and SFA scored eight runs in the final five innings to pick up its first win of the season, 9-4, over Grambling at Ellis Field on Tuesday.
Choate struck out six in seven innings to pick up his first win, and Cameron Gann retired all six hitters he faced in working the final two innings for his first career save for SFA (1-4).
SFA pounded out 13 hits off of three Grambling (2-6) pitchers, including starter Cory Jordan, who took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year.
Hunter Dozier led the offense with a pair of hits and two RBI, including his first homer of the year, a shot that was part of back-to-back shots with Mackenzie Handel that catapulted SFA in front of the Tigers in a four-run fifth inning.
SFA got on the board in the bottom of the third on a bases-loaded walk from Dozier, driving in Matthew Dickey who had reached on a one-out error. But after the Jacks hit into an inning-ending double play to prevent any further damage, the Tigers answered back with two runs of their own on four hits, including a go-ahead single from Jose Longoria.
The Tigers added two more an inning later on a two-run double from Korey Hall, but fortunately the Jacks had an answer of their own in the top of the fifth. Zach Marberry started the rally with a leadoff walk, followed by a sure single from Dickey. Two batters later a wild pitch plated Marberry and a sac fly from Freddy Villalobos scored Dickey to cut the Grambling lead to 4-3.
SFA then got back-to-back homers from Dozier and Handel to take a 5-4 lead, with each taking their first homers of the season out over the right-center field fence.
Choate responded with a shutdown fifth before getting another run of support in the top of the sixth when Dickey made it 6-4 by greeting reliever Brock Baker with a first-pitch triple to the left-field corner that scored Marberry all the way from first after the SFA catcher had reached after being hit by a pitch with two outs.
Chaote and Gann kept the Tigers off the board each of the next three frames and SFA added one more run in the top of the ninth when Villalobos singled home Brett Thornell to push the score to 7-4.
SFA tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth on RBI hits from Villalobos and Ricardo Sanchez before Gann punched out a pair of hitters in shutting the door in the bottom half of the inning.
The Jacks will now turn their attention to Louisiana Tech, who it will host at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the home opener at Jaycees Field. Sophomore Kevin Bishop is set to get the start for SFA.