Cleveland State Baseball took on Jackson State this past weekend for their final series of the regular season. The Cougars dropped game one, 6-3 but won games two and three by scores of 8-7, 10-7 respectively.
In game one of the series, Cleveland State had Hooper Mills on the mound who pitched 8.1 innings, allowing 3 earned runs, 4 walks while striking out 4. Mills took the loss in game one, finishing his regular season record at 8-3. Greg Tye entered the game in the 9th with one out on the board. Tye allowed 2 earned runs in his appearance.
The Generals got off to a quick start scoring two runs in the bottom of 1st inning. The Cougars responded in the 2nd inning, when Rhett Baldwin scored off of a Jackson State wild pitch. After a scoreless 3rd inning the Cougars tied the game in the 4th when Cameron Payne scored off another Jackson State wild pitch. The next score didn't occur until the 8th inning when Rhett Baldwin smacked an RBI single, scoring Logan Peterson, giving Cleveland State a 3-2 lead. The game was looking to finish as a Cougar victory but in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Generals loaded the bases. DJ Wright of Jackson State stepped up to the plate and proceeded to rip a grand slam, winning the game for the Generals in walk off fashion. Cleveland State lost by a final score of 6-3.
Game two had a much different result for the Cougars as they won the game by a score of 8-7. Ryan Lloyd was on the mound and pitched 4 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, 4 walks while issuing 2 strikeouts. Tyler Zak came on in relief, pitching 2 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, 1 walk while striking out 1. Greg Tye came in to finish the game out, pitching 2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs, 3 walks while striking out 2. Tye received the win for the Cougars, giving the closer his 6th win of the season.
The Generals again got out ahead first as they had 2 runs on the board by the 4th inning. The Cougars responded in the 5th inning when Caleb Collins homered, cutting the Generals lead in half. Logan Peterson gave the Cougars the lead when he ripped a 2 RBI single, scoring Brandon Mason and Noah Hill. Jackson State tagged on a run of their own in the 6th inning by way of a 2-run home run, taking back the lead 4-3. By the 8th inning the Cougars had regained the lead thanks to a Logan Peterson sacrifice fly, a Brandon Mason RBI single and a Hunter Oliver 3-run home run, which gave the Cougars a 8-4 lead. Jackson State added 3 runs of their own but the Cougars were able to hold on, ending the game in a 8-4 Cleveland State victory.
With the series tied at 1-1, the two squads were ready to play the second game of their Saturday double header. Jackson Etter was on the mound for the Cougars in game 3 of the series, pitching 6 innings, allowing 7 earned runs, 3 walks while striking out 4. Etter received the win in the series finale, retaining his perfect record at 8-0 on the season.
The Cougars had full control in the first half of the game, enjoying a 10-1 lead. The Generals had their run in the second half of the game, scoring 6 runs of their own but it wasn't enough as the Cougars were able to hold on to win the series with a 10-7 game 3 final. Logan Peterson and Brandon Mason finished with 2 RBI's a piece while Noah Hill, Cameron Payne and Caleb Collins each had an RBI themselves. Trey Vanderpool also had a stolen base in the game.
After the regular season series final, the Cougars finished their season with a 36-17 record. Cleveland State went 14-12 in conference play while holding a 20-7 home record. In 53 games the Cougars scored 378 runs, 40 home runs, held a .324 batting average, .428 on base percentage and a .476 slugging percentage. Cleveland State currently sits 5th in the standings behind Dyersburg State. The Region VII Tournament will be held at Chattanooga State Community College starting on Sunday, May 6th.