Awards: Game of the Year

Jacksonville State did not make choosing this year’s Game of the Year easy. But in the end, two games stood out above all others, and they happened in the same weekend: Women’s Basketball’s 71-69 win over Belmont in overtime on March 1 and Baseball’s 9-8 win over Kennesaw State in 17 innings on March 2.


Freshman guard Kelly Naughton fights for a loose ball

Women’s Athletics: Basketball def. Belmont 71-69 OT

The Gamecocks could have just mailed this one in but they still had one thing on their minds: revenge.

JSU had already qualified for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament earlier that week, but the Gamecocks still wanted to erase 42-point loss to Belmont from Jan. 6.

The 92-50 loss served as the turning point of the season as the Gamecocks went 7-4 heading into the regular-season finale and 3-1 in revenge games.

JSU held a three-point lead with under a minute left in regulation but Belmont took advantage of  a defensive misalignment to tie the game. Destany McLin tried to retake the lead in the final seconds but could not sink the game-winner.

She hit plenty of shots in overtime as she scored nine of her career-high 31 points that period. She gave the Gamecocks the lead after taking the ball coast-to-coast and driving inside for a layup with eight seconds left. The Bruins rushed down court to tie the game again but Miranda Cantrell forced the Bruins’ shot to hit the bottom of the goal.

The Gamecocks stormed the court and embraced each other before forming the handshake line. Unbeknownst to them, they had just given Gamecock Illustrated its Game of the Year.


Senior outfielder Michael Bishop

Men’s Athletics:  Baseball def. Kennesaw State 9-8 In 17 innings

Despite almost playing enough innings for two games, the Gamecocks only got credit for one win in their 9-8 win over Kennesaw State in 17 innings. However, in that 5-hour and 43-minute game they earned the win and the title of Game of the Year.

It had been an up and down series for JSU. The Owls dominated them 10-1 in Game 1 and rode dominant pitching by Zachary Fowler to a 1-0 win in Game 2. Their bats finally came to life on Sunday as the Gamecocks jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. By the time the 8th inning ended, the game was tied at 6 apiece.

The Owls took an 8-6 lead in the 12th inning and were one out away from defeat. Griff Gordon tied the game at 8 with a single to right that scored Eddie Mora-Loera and Michael Bishop.

Bishop ended the game in the 17th with a walk-off single to center that scored his brother Andrew. It was Bishop’s 5th hit of the game in his NCAA Division I record-tying 10th at-bat. It wasn’t the addition to the record book. The Gamecocks set 10 school records and tied another.

1 – Most at bats – 63, TEAM
1 – Most batters faced – 82, TEAM
1 – Most chances – 22, Tyler Gamble
1 – Most chances – 71, TEAM
1 – Most innings pitched – 17.0, TEAM
1 – Most intentional walks – 3, Joe McGuire
1 – Most intentional walks – 6, TEAM
1 – Most putouts – 21, Tyler Gamble
1 – Most putouts – 51, TEAM
1 – Most runners left on base – 23, TEAM
1 – Most walks – 15, TEAM
1 – Most walks – 5, Paschal Petrongolo
1t- Most walks allowed – 12, TEAM

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