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Grambling rally falls short in 14-13 SWAC thriller

Saturday, May 22, 2021

MADISON, Ala. — Jatavious Melton delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday to give top-seeded Jackson State a 14-13 win over the second-seeded GSU in the second round of the 2021 SWAC Tournament at Toyota Field.

Jackson State (33-8) had the sticks rolling to begin the contest putting up 13 runs on 13 hits in only five innings to take control of the game. GSU (16-26) was only able to plate one run in five innings off of an RBI double from CJ Mervilus to plate Jeremy Almaguer after he reached on a muffed throw by the pitcher.

Grambling erased a late deficit in the sixth and seventh inning. GSU scored 12 runs in the sixth and seventh innings and tied the game 13-13 after the six-run seventh.

After four walks, an error, and a pitching change in the sixth inning, GSU was able to plate their first run after being shutout for three straight innings. Cameron Bufford drilled a two-run single to left field plating CJ Mervilus and Kevin Breaux. Breaux, in his return at catcher, was phenomenal at the plate not allowing any passed balls. Prior to another pitching change, Jahmoi Percival walloped an RBI single through the right side plating Cameron Phelts to cut JSU’s lead 13-7.

In the top of the seventh inning, junior Jordyn Smith got things started at the plate crushing a solo home run to center field. Jeremy Almaguer singled through the right side and advanced to second on a balk. Later, All-SWAC first team honoree Jahmoi Percival smacked a grand slam to right field to tie the game 13-13.

“I’m so proud of the effort and the finish, but I’m extremely hurt at the number of simple mistakes we made that gave them scoring opportunities,” added Cooper.

Grambling played again Friday in an elimination game.