Jackson Hood had two doubles and two RBI in SFA's loss to South Alabama on Sunday.
Feb. 17, 2013
MOBILE, Ala. - Jeff DeBlieux hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning for South Alabama to snap a 4-4 tie and ignite a nine-run inning for South Alabama on its way to a 13-4 win, completing a three-game sweep of Stephen F. Austin on Sunday in the series finale at Stankey Field.
SFA (0-3) had erased a 2-0 South Alabama (3-0) lead of its own with a two-run double from Jackson Hood in the top of the sixth, but the Lumberjack bullpen could not hold the lead as the Jaguars knotted things up in the seventh before going ahead in the eighth.
Kyle Bartsch, who totaled 10 saves for the Jaguars last season, tossed the final 3.0 innings of relief with five strikeouts for the win in his first appearance of the season. In all, South Alabama pitchers registered 15 strikeouts on the afternoon.
Brett Higginbotham was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs on four hits in just 0.2 innings of relief. He was the first of four SFA pitchers to see the mound in the decisive eighth inning when USA sent 15 hitters to the plate, scoring nine runs - all with two outs - to blow the game open.
The `Jacks registered eight hits, three of which came from senior Freddy Villalobos. Hood and junior Brett Thornell also added two hits apiece, with each picking up two-run hits for a pair of RBI.
SFA found itself in an early hole after the Jaguars plated two runs in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a leadoff walk from Lumberjack starter Kevin Bishop on RBI hits from Dusti Dalken and Graham Odom.
Two innings later the `Jacks struck back with two runs of their own off of USA starter Jarron Cito, who struck out eight hitters in just 4.2 innings. A walk to Hunter Dozier and a one-out single by Max Lamantia put runners on the corners for SFA, and two batters later Thornell slapped his second single of the day to left-center field to plate them both to knot the score.
One inning later, though, the Jags struck back on an RBI single from Bud Collura to go back in front 3-2. The `Jacks then squandered a leadoff double in the top of the fifth before breaking through again in the top of the sixth.
A leadoff walk to Lamantia was followed by the Jaguars botching a sacrifice bunt attempt, quickly giving SFA two runners on base with nobody out. Then, after a screaming liner from Joseph Olson was snagged, Hood delivered his second double of the day inside the left-field line to score both runs and catapult the `Jacks in front 4-3.
Cody Priest and Cameron Gann kept the Jaguars off the board until the bottom of the seventh when Nolan Earley tied things on a sacrifice fly. Then, two innings later, the Jags exploded for its nine-run frame that blew the game open with little time for recovery for the `Jacks.
SFA will return to play on Tuesday when it travels to take on Texas A&M in College Station.