JONESBORO, Ark. (3/6/18) – The Arkansas State baseball team got its sixth consecutive quality start and jumped out to an early lead in a 13-5 midweek win over UT Martin that featured wind gusts of up to 44 miles per hour Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium.
A-State (6-3) starter Nate Alberius turned in his third straight quality start to begin his career, and posted the team’s sixth consecutive, with seven strong innings to earn the win. The Little Rock, Ark., native struck out a career-high 11, also the most by a pitcher for the Red Wolves this year, and walked none while he gave up seven hits and three runs (only one earned).
The Red Wolves got to UT Martin (2-10) starter Dom Bazzani with a four-run second inning, beginning with a wind-aided RBI single by Cullen Ray. Jacob Jablonski scored on a wild pitch before Grant Hawkins swatted his first home run of the season to left-center field, a two-run shot, to account for the four runs. The following inning, Ray stepped in the box and blasted his first career home run to plate three runs to make the A-State lead 7-1 after UTM scored in the top of the third.
The Skyhawks cut the home team’s lead to 7-3 with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh, but the Red Wolves got both back in the bottom half on a run-scoring double by Drew Tipton and RBI single from Caleb Squire. UTM followed with two more runs in the eighth to get within 11-5, but Arkansas State scored two more again in the bottom half to set the final of 13-5.
Ray led the team with a career-high five RBI, while Jablonski and Tipton collected two hits apiece. Jablonski scored four runs, while Jaylon Deshazier scored three. Hawkins registered two RBI and also walked twice to pace the A-State offense at the top of the lineup.
Dalton Westfall threw the final five innings for UT Martin and allowed six runs, but only one earned. The visitors received two-hit nights from Jordan Stoner, Tyler Albright, and Collin Edwards.
Arkansas State returns to action this weekend at Missouri State. The Red Wolves and Bears open the series Friday, March 9 at 3 p.m. in Springfield, Mo.
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