LAFAYETTE, La. - Jackson State grinded out a 1-0 win over No.1 ranked (USA Today/ESPN Poll) Louisiana to open the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament on Friday in the Lafayette Regional at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
JSU (32-23), winners of back-to-back SWAC championships, picks up its first win in NCAA postseason handing ULL (53-8) its first shut out loss on the year. The Tigers become the third team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to earn a victory in the regionals since the 64-team expansion. The last team from the league to pull out a win in postseason play was Texas Southern in 2004 defeating top-seeded Rice, 4-3.
Vincent Anthonia (4-0) earned the win serving six innings with a pair of strikeouts and 51 strikes.
Alex Juday picked up his fourth save. He closed out the final three innings with two strikeouts including one in the final frame against Blake Trahan who was 3-for-3 at the plate prior to striking out swinging. In the eigth he faced the gauntlet of ULL's lineup with runners on second and third. He worked out of the jam and struck out Kyle Clement to end the inning.
JSU posted the eventual game winning run after Melvin Rodriguez singled up the middle with two outs scoring Desmond Russell. Russell doubled down the left field line with one out to get on base and hand the Tigers their only run scored on the evening.
The Ragin Cajuns finished 0-7 with runners in scoring position as Austin Robichaux (7-3) picked up the loss throwing six strikeouts. He sat in the top of the ninth after allowing two to reach base. Relief pitcher Matt Plitt threw one strikeout as the inning ended on a double play line out to shortstop and second base.
JSU finshed with four hits with Rodriguez going 2-for-4 at bat while Russell and Charles Tillery posted one hit apiece. ULL, carrying the nation's longest win streak at 10 games, collected eight hits but left 11 stranded on base.
JSU's win sets up an all Mississippi showdown with Mississippi State on Saturday. The first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament. The Bulldogs defeated San Diego State earlier in the day 5-2.