After an inspiring start on Wednesday, the Jags fell in the second round of the Sun Belt Tournament to top seeded Florida Atlantic. Thought they didn’t go down without a fight.
Trailing 10-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, USA could only manage to score two runs after they loaded the bases with with no outs. In the bottom of the ninth, still trailing 10-6, the Jags scored a run before Jags loaded the bases again with no outs. After a fielders choice scored another run, a single through the right side loaded the bases again. A sacrifice fly ball to right would score another run, but was stranded after that when the game ended 10-9.
On Friday, the Jags found themselves facing Florida International, whom they defeated the first day to put them in the losers bracket. FIU scored eight runs in the first four innings but South Alabama would rally for six runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the lead to 8-7.
The top of the seventh would see the Jags tie the game at eight, but was answered by the Owls in the bottom half of the inning with two runs. The top of the eighth inning had the Jags score their final run of the game.
Trailing by a run in the top of the ninth, they got a one out single to right field, however the runner could not be advanced past first base. So for the second consecutive game the Jags fell 10-9 but were eliminated from the Sun Belt Tournament.
The Jags end the season with an overall record of 32-27 after stranding 12 runners on base against for the game.
While the Jags lost five of the last six games of the season, at least they sent the seniors out on a winning note against Troy. After dropping the first two games at home, the Jags won 11-10 on Saturday’s Senior Day.
The season ending losing streak took the Jags from first place to fifth place and will open the Sun Belt Tournament against fourth seeded Florida International on Wednesday at 9am. FIU started the Jaguars losing streak with a three game sweep in Miami.
However, an interesting note about this is that the last time the Jaguars won the Sun Belt Tournament in 2005 the Jaguars lost five of their last six regular season games.
The Jags need to win the SBC Tournament in order to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The eight participants in the Tournament in order of their seeding are: 1) Florida Atlantic, 2) Lousiana-Lafayette, 3) Middle Tennessee, 4) Florida International, 5) South Alabama, 6) Troy, 7) Arkansas State and 8) Western Kentucky. As usual with baseball tournaments, this is a double elimination tournament.
The Jags fell to second place in the Sun Belt after this past weekend’s three game series at Stanky Field. After falling 7-2 to FAU on Friday night, the Jags came from behind on Saturday night to win 6-5 on a walk-off balk in the 9th inning.
On Sunday afternoon, the Jags lost 6-3 to FAU after a squandering a 3-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning. The Jags allowed five runs on six hits in the top of the eighth, including back-to-back home runs to take the lead 5-3. FAU added an insurance run in the top of the ninth.
So the Jags went into the weekend with a one game lead over FAU but leave the weekend trailing by one game. FAU improves to 18-8 in the Sun Belt and 30-17 for the season while the Jags fall to 16-7 in the Sun Belt and 29-19 on the season.
The Jags still control their own fate though with two more Sun Belt series left in the regular season while FAU only has one series left against FIU.
The Jags have their last non-conference game tomorrow night at Stanky Field when they host #18 ranked Auburn University then they will travel to FIU for a three game weekend series followed by a Thursday through Saturday series at Stanky Field hosting Troy University to end the regular season.