SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (3/10/18) – The Arkansas State baseball team got a career-long seven innings and career-high seven strikeouts from Coulton Lee, while Jesse Kutzke retired all six batters he faced as the Red Wolves were able to even the series with Missouri State with a 4-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.
A native of Benton, Ark., Lee allowed one run, a solo homer by Landan Ruff of Missouri State (7-5) in the bottom of the third, on four hits with one walk and seven punch outs in his seven innings of work. The win moved him to 2-1 on the season and he retired 12 in a row after a lead-off double in the fourth.
A-State (7-4) tied the game in the top of the fifth with a RBI ground out by Grant Hawkins, but took the lead for good the following inning when Jaylon Deshazier lined the first pitch he saw into the Bears’ bullpen beyond the left-field fence for a two-run shot. The home run, Deshazier’s team-best second of the season, put the Red Wolves on top 3-1. The team went on to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Drew Tipton scored on a wild pitch to extend the edge to 4-1.
Bryan Ayers entered in the top of the eighth, but walked the first two batters to prompt the decision to bring Kutzke in. The Topeka, Kan., native proceeded to retire the final three batters of the inning to quiet the threat before a 1-2-3 ninth secured A-State’s 4-1 victory and his third save of the year.
The A-State offense was led by three hits from Tipton and two from Hawkins, who extended his on-base streak to 11 games. The two RBI by Deshazier pushed his team lead to nine for the season.
Ty Buckner took the loss for Missouri State after he allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Arkansas State will attempt to take the series Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Hammons Field is set for 1 p.m.
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