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Racers' rally falls short in series finale against JSU

Staff report

The Murray State bats were stymied for much of the afternoon Sunday at Reagan Field as the Racersâ€â ¢ late-game rally fell short in the series finale to Jacksonville State, losing 4-3.

JSU (14-11, 4-5 OVC) starter Joe McGuire pitched 71/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs and three hits in the contest. At one point, McGuire retired 11 Racers in a row as MSU (15-12, 6-6 OVC) collected just one hit in the third through seventh innings.

For the third time in the series, the Racers were able to strike first and score in the first inning as Kipp Moore led off the game with a double and scored on an error by JSU in the next at-bat. That was about all the MSU offense could muster until the eighth inning.

The Gamecocks were able to tie the game at 1-1 in the third and take a lead they wouldnâ€â ¢t relinquish on a solo home run in the fourth, before tacking on a run in the fifth and sixth innings as well to make it 4-1.

In the eighth, the Racers finally got to McGuire as Moore and Adam Bauer walked in the inning. Tyler Lawrence drove in Moore on a sacrifice fly to right field making it 4-2. In the next at-bat, Ryan Perkins hit a bloop single over the shortstopâ€â ¢s head to bring home Bauer and make it 4-3. After a strikeout by Michael McCreless ended the Racer threat in the inning, McCreless had a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to secure the victory for JSU.

MSU was out-hit in the loss 9-5 as both teams left six runners stranded on base. Moore and Davis Sims both went 1-for-3 with a double on the day with Moore scoring two runs. Brandon Gutzler, Perkins and Jaron Robinson had the other three singles for the Racers.

Jack Hranec got the start on the mound for MSU and took the loss. Hranec allowed three runs in five innings of work off seven hits to take his first loss of the season. Blake Clynes and Chad Gendron each had scoreless innings of relief while Alec Whaley allowed one run in two innings of work.

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