18 Mar

scoring machine

In its last five games, Jackson State has hung up these numbers: 16, 7, 10, 30 and 15. These aren’t football scores, mind you. While Deion Sanders and his gridiron gang have been drawing the lion’s share of attention lately, Omar Johnson’s baseball team has ripped off eight straight wins thanks mainly to a prolific attack. The Tigers beat Grambling 15-8 in a non-conference road game on Wednesday. They scored 47 runs in a three-game blitz of Alcorn State at Lorman over last weekend. JSU, which doesn’t play again until next week, is 11-5 and 6-0 in the SWAC. The pitching – see the 6.45 staff ERA – might need to shape up, but the offense looks to be in fine form. The Tigers don’t hit many homers, but they get on base (.403 OBP), steal bases (49 in 54 attempts) and score (8.5 runs per game). There are many contributors. Chandler Dillard, from Madison, is batting .409 with a .481 OBP, 20 RBIs, 14 runs and eight steals. Jatavious Melton (Natchez) has a .433 OBP, 14 runs and a team-best 10 steals. Chenar Brown is batting .321 with 15 RBIs, and Wesley Reyes (.338 OBP) leads the team with 15 runs. C.J. Newsome (Columbia) is getting on at a .392 clip. Staff ace Nik Galatas has benefited from the potent offense; he is 3-2 despite a 5.74 ERA. Anthony Becerra, another starter, is 2-1, 3.18. Bullpen stalwart Steven Davila has two wins and two saves with a 6.89 ERA. While pitching is typically the key to any championship run, JSU might just have enough offense to carry it in the SWAC.

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