Gators mash to victory with back-to-back walk-offs

After dropping six of its last seven games, the SF State baseball team bounced back with two dramatic walk-off wins Friday, fending off the Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles 8-7 and 3-2.

The walk-off spectacle began with two outs in the bottom of the 10th in game one of the doubleheader, when center fielder Nick Jackson drove in Andrew Breen with a base hit up the middle.

“It felt pretty good,” Jackson said about the game-winning hit. “He happened to leave a pitch over the plate and I was able to keep my hands inside and just get it up the middle. (It was my) first time hitting a walk-off, so it was pretty exciting.”

Jackson’s walk-off was overshadowed when catcher Logan Marston knocked in Joe Chedid with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of game two. Marston’s hit secured the Gators’ first series win in conference play this season.

The walk-offs were the biggest stories on the day, but several Gators produced on offense.

The bat of right fielder Myles Franklin was hot. The junior went 2-for-5 in game one and 3-for-4 in game two, with four runs scored.

“I was patient enough to get the pitches I wanted and did what I could do with them,” Franklin said. “I came out a little shaky in the first game, but the day was great. When you walk-off two times you can’t complain.”

First basemen Chris Nicholson also ripped the cover off the ball, going 3-for-4 with one RBI in game one and 2-for-4 in game two. Nicholson’s RBI came on one of two successful hit-and-run attempts.

Head coach Tony Schifano said his team snatched the two games by playing small ball, something that requires multiple players to execute, not just one swing of the bat.

“We don’t have a team that’s going to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Schifano said. “We’re a team that has to execute on demand. I was really pleased that we got two hit-and-runs down today, I believe it creates havoc in the infield.”

The Gators next game will be against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Maloney Field.