Great pitching and timely hit helped the Jackets sweep all three games. They allowed only allowing three runs in the entire series. The Jackets are 2-0 in the area and 17-8 overall and are 14-2 in their last 16 games. This record has come against some of the top teams in the state and teams from Tennessee and Florida. They are 7-7 in games against ranked teams and six of those losses were by only one run.
The series started off with a game at Pell City and it quickly turned into a tight pitching duel that went 10 innings and the Jackets taking a 2-1 win. Both pitchers were magnificent. Tucker Simpson went the first eight innings for the Jackets, fanning 15 and allowing only three hits.
The Jackets tied the game in the sixth inning on a run scoring single by Taylor McCracken that scored pinch runner Connor Graham.
This set the stage for the 10th inning when Matthew Goodson drove home Dakota Bean with the winning run on a clutch single to put the Jackets ahead 2-1. It was the third 2-1 win on the season for the Jackets who have won three straight one run games.
Zach Lovvorn, Frazier Taylor and Simpson had hits for the Jackets.
The series moved to Oxford on Friday and rain delayed the start, but the field was in beautiful shape. Righthander Jackson Stephens was impeccable on the mound and overpowered the Panthers in a 3-0 win. He only allowed one hit and it was a little looper just past the third base bag by a left handed hitting Panther in the fifth inning.
Stephens only allowed three base runner, striking out six batters over 84 pitches.
Oxford broke through in the third inning when Joe McGuire led off with a single up the middle. Taylor McCracken then smacked a double down the third base line and McGuire slid under the tag at the plate to put the Jackets up 1-0. McCracken took third on the throw and scored with two outs on a passed ball to give the Jackets a 2-0 lead.
Trent Simpson led off the fourth with a walk and pinch runner Connor Graham eventually scored on a wild pitch to complete the scoring. The Jackets only had two hits on the night but had six walks.
Game three was another thriller as Simpson ended it with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Zach Lovvorn had another strong pitching performance as he went six innings and had 6 strikeouts.
Frazier Taylor came on in the siventh and was dominate as he fanned two and allowed no runs. He got the win with the dramatic Simpson home run in the bottom of the inning. McGuire’s two hits paced the Jackets at the plate.
The Jackets are currently in Cary, N.C., playing in the Baseball America Invitational against some of the best teams in the country.