NACOGDOCHES, Tx. - Jaguar right-hander Anthony Izzio allowed one run on five hits in seven innings to lead the University of South Alabama baseball team to a 5-2 win Sunday afternoon at Jaycees Field.
Izzio (2-0) struck out five and issued just one walk to record his second win and third quality start of the season.
"Anthony Izzio did a great job in his second start in a week," USA head coach Mark Calvi said. "He put the team on his back against Alabama, and did so again today. I can't say enough about his effort. He turned a big double play (in the fifth inning) when momentum could have turned at any moment. But he had enough presence of mind and confidence in himself to turn and start it. He just did an outstanding job for us today. He has been outstanding for us all year."
USA right-hander Jaime Dennis earned his first career save as a Jaguar in 1 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit with a strikeout and one walk.
SFA (4-8) starter Chase Greening (0-2) suffered the loss in 6 2/3 innings, and allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.
The Jags loaded the bases in the top of the third on a leadoff single by Kevin Knapp, single by Nolan Earley and walk by Nick Zaharion. Patterson then grounded to first base that allowed Knapp to score and give the Jags a 1-0 lead.
With the game tied 1-1 following in the top of the seventh inning, USA catcher Brent Mitchell gave the Jags a 2-1 lead when he delivered a two-out double to the left-center field gap to score Neil Hudson from first base after he reached on an error. The Jags added a second run later in the inning to take a 3-1 lead on a two-out, bases-loaded walk by Earley that scored pinch-runner Harold Collins.
The Lumberjacks cut the Jaguar lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single to right-center field by Jarid Scarafiotti that scored Rory Myers, who reached on an error to lead off the inning.
Knapp and Graham Odom drew two-out walks in the top of the ninth off of SFA reliever Cass Ingvardsen. Earley then singled up the middle to score Knapp and push the Jag lead to 4-2. With Zaharion at the plate, Earley stole second and Scarafiotti's throw to second base allowed Odom to score and give USA a 5-2 lead.
"I was proud of the fact we adjusted (at the plate) from the third inning on," Calvi said. "It was good to score some runs, but it was the way we scored them. Our guys didn't give up. We lost a hard game on Friday and a tough one Saturday, but give both teams credit – they both came out hard today. It was a big win from a standpoint of how to win a game, because we have lost some games late. This is what a good team does to win a game late. I think it was important for this team to learn how to win. Our guys came out ready to play today, and hopefully we'll carry some momentum into this week."
Earley went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a walk to lead USA at the plate. Patterson and Mitchell added a double and one RBI apiece.
Scarafiotti went 1-for-4 with one RBI to lead the Lumberjacks offensively.
South Alabama (3-8) will return to action Tue., March 6, when it travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., to take on Southern Mississippi at 6 p.m.
-- content courtesy South Alabama media services
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