JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Scott Dubrule tied the game in the ninth and Angel Camacho delivered the game winning run one batter later, as Jacksonville University baseball (1-3) rallied to win 2-1 on Friday night over Jacksonville State (2-3) at John Sessions Stadium.
JU pitching combined to allow only one run on five hits while striking out 14 Gamecocks in the win.
"We needed a pitching effort like this tonight," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "They let our hitters continue to compete.
"The message all week was we compete, compete, compete until that last out is made, and it worked out tonight."
JU led off the ninth trailing 1-0 with Ruben Someillan drawing a walk, the third time he reached base in the game. After Dakota Julylia also walked, Dubrule stepped up and fouled off two straight pitches before singling to left. The new JSU left fielder, who had entered as a defensive replacement at the start of the inning, slipped on his throw home and Someillan scored easily to tie it. Then, Camacho saw one pitch from embattled reliever Christian Edwards (0-1) before he was lifted in favor of Austin Brewster. Camacho only saw two pitches from the new Gamecock arm before driving a ball into left center that scored Julylia and sparked pandemonium on the field.
"I had some good at-bats earlier in the game, put some really good swings on balls, just didn't have any luck," said Camacho. "Every time that spot comes up I want to be hitting."
The game started as a pitcher's duel and lasted that way throughout, with the two teams combining for just eight hits through the first eight and a half innings and just the one run, a solo shot for Jacksonville State to start the fourth off of JU starter Tyler Santana. But Santana was great other than the lone blemish, and finished the night with a career-high 10 strikeouts through six innings, surrendering just three hits.
The bullpen continued what Santana started, with five pitchers combining to allow only two more hits and holding Jacksonville State scoreless the rest of the way. Zach Bryant inherited two men on at one point, but ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, and Ruairi Murphy (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win by getting two outs in the ninth, including ending the inning, fittingly, with a strikeout.
"Those guys in the bullpen were unbelievable," said Hayes. "We went to a lot of guys, asked them to perform in big spots and they came through in critical moments."
Jacksonville goes for the series win tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Sessions Stadium. Sophomore RHP Trent Palmer takes the ball for JU.