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Scott Smith Blasts Two-Run Homer in Ninth to Lead JSU to a 4-3 Win Over Alabama

JACKSONVILLE – Senior Scott Smith hit a two-run walk-off homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the ninth inning, his second homer of the night, to lead Jacksonville State (1-0) to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Alabama (2-2) in the JSU season-opener in front of a record crowd of 2,463 fans at Rudy Abbott Field Wednesday night.

JSU’s Josh Forrest (1-0) tossed the top of the ninth inning to earn the win, while Alabama’s Wade LeBlanc allowed two hits in the bottom of the ninth to suffer the loss for the Crimson Tide.

“This was a great win for our baseball program against a quality program,” said JSU head coach Jim Case after running his career record to 2-1 vs. Alabama. “Alabama played a good game, but you have to give credit to our guys for hanging in there and giving ourselves a chance to win.

“Our guys just kept battling all night. Robby (Goodson) stepped up with a clutch hit in the bottom of the ninth and then Scott got a pitch that he could drive and we were able to come out on top.”

With the game tied at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, Evan Bush slugged his first career home run to give the Crimson Tide a 4-3 advantage off of Gamecock reliever Josh Forrest.

Alabama then sent LaBlanc to the mound in the ninth inning as the true freshman was looking to record his first save of the season. But, the Gamecocks rallied for the win to improve their opening day record to 30-5.

The JSU game-winner reminded Gamecock fans of 1999 when Wes Brooks hit a two-out three run homer over the left field wall as JSU rallied for a 5-3 win.

Alabama jumped to a 2-0 lead after scoring a run in the second and third innings. Nick Richardson had a RBI double to left field in the second and Allen Rice scored on a wild pitch in the third inning.

Jax State tied the game after tacking on a run in the fourth and fifth innings. Smith hit his first homer of the season, a two-out shot to left field in the fourth, and Bret Pettus had a RBI single in the fifth to tie the game.

The Gamecocks have won four of the last seven meetings against Alabama.

JSU returns to action this weekend with a three-game series at No. 2 LSU, while Alabama plays host to Cincinnati for a three-game series, beginning Friday night in Tuscaloosa.

Bret Pettus-SS L/R 6-1 180 So. Demopolis, Ala.

2004 JSU Baseball Schedule

Day-Date-Opponent/ Tournament Location-Outcome/ Time

Wed2/18/2004 vs. Alabama W 4-3

Fri2/20/2004 at LSU

6:30 PM

Sat2/21/2004 at LSU

2:00 PM

Sun2/22/2004 at LSU

1:00 PM

Fri2/27/2004 vs. Middle Tenneessee

3:00 PM

Sat2/28/2004 vs. Middle Tenneessee

2:00 PM

Sun2/29/2004 vs. Middle Tenneessee

1:00 PM

Tue3/2/2004 vs. South Alabama

6:30 PM

Wed3/3/2004 vs. South Alabama

3:00 PM

Fri3/5/2004 at Louisiana Monroe

7:00 PM

Sat3/6/2004 at Louisiana Monroe

3:00 PM

Sun3/7/2004 at Louisiana Monroe

1:00 PM

Tue3/9/2004 vs. Toledo

6:30 PM

Fri3/12/2004 vs. Northwestern Louisiana

6:30 PM

Sat3/13/2004 vs. Northwestern Louisiana

2:00 PM

Sun3/14/2004 vs. Northwestern Louisiana

1:00 PM

Tue3/16/2004 at UAB

6:00 PM

Fri3/19/2004 vs. Purdue

6:30 PM

Sat3/20/2004 vs. Purdue

2:00 PM

Sun3/21/2004 vs. Purdue

1:00 PM

Sat3/27/2004 vs. Samford (2)

1:00 PM

Sun3/28/2004 vs. Samford

1:00 PM

Wed3/31/2004 at Alabama State 1:00 PM

Sat4/3/2004 vs. Southeast Missouri (2)

1:00 PM

Sun4/4/2004 vs. Southeast Missouri

1:00 PM

Tue4/6/2004 at Birmingham-Southern 6:00 PM

Wed4/7/2004 vs. Alabama State 3:00 PM

Fri4/9/2004 at Eastern Illinois (2) 1:00 PM

Sat4/10/2004 at Eastern Illinois 1:00 PM

Sat4/17/2004 vs. Eastern Kentucky (2) 1:00 PM

Sun4/18/2004 vs. Eastern Kentucky 1:00 PM

Tue4/20/2004 vs. Troy State 6:30 PM

Sat4/24/2004 at Morehead State (2) 2:00 PM

Sun4/25/2004 at Morehead State 1:00 PM

Sat5/1/2004 vs. Tennessee Tech (2) 1:00 PM

Sun5/2/2004 vs. Tennessee Tech 1:00 PM

Tue5/4/2004 at Samford (Birmingham)6:00 PM

Sat5/8/2004 at Tennessee-Martin (2) 1:00 PM

Sun5/9/2004 at Tennessee-Martin 1:00 PM

Tue5/11/2004 vs. UAB 6:00 PM

Sat5/15/2004 vs. Murray State (2) 1:00 PM

Sun5/16/2004 vs. Murray State 1:00 PM

Tue5/18/2004 at Troy State 6:00 PM

Fri5/21/2004 at Austin Peay (2) 4:30 PM

Sat5/22/2004 at Austin Peay 2:00 PM

Batting average – .667

Hits- 2

RBI- 1

Runs- 0

Keeping up with Pettus

2004 Jax State Baseball

Batting Leaders (as of Feb 19, 2004)

Batting Avg.

4 Bret Pettus

.667

33 Scott Smith

.500

34 Robby Goodson

.500

7 Matt Ruckdeschel .333

11 Bobby Hicks

.000

Slugging Pct.

33 Scott Smith

2.000

4 Bret Pettus

.667

34 Robby Goodson

.500

7 Matt Ruckdeschel

.333

11 Bobby Hicks

.000

On Base Pct.

4 Bret Pettus

.667

34 Robby Goodson

.500

33 Scott Smith

.500

7 Matt Ruckdeschel

.333

8 Clint Carroll

.250

33 Scott Smith

2

34 Robby Goodson

2

4 Bret Pettus

2

7 Matt Ruckdeschel 1

Runs Batted In

33 Scott Smith

3

4 Bret Pettus

1

Total Bases

33 Scott Smith

8

34 Robby Goodson

2

4 Bret Pettus

2

7 Matt Ruckdeschel

1