Arkansas State (7-4) vs UT-Martin (5-6)
Dates: March 5
First Pitch: Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Jonesboro, Ark.
Stadium: Tomlinson Stadium (1,200)
Radio: East Arkansas Broadcasters
95.3 FM The Ticket
970 AM KNEA
Radio Talent: Brad Bobo
ASU vs UT-MARTIN: 32-15 (ASU Leads)
Raffo Record vs UT-MARTIN: 5-6
Last Meeting: 2011
Current Streak: ASU 2 Wins
Online Audio: AStateRedWolves.com
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com
LEADING OFF: Arkansas State will host UT-Martin Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. The game is a makeup game for the Feb. 20 game against Lyon College that was cancelled due to inclement weater. This will be the 48th meeting all-time between the schools with ASU holding a 32-15 edge. The two teams last played during the 2011 season with ASU coming away with a 5-3 victory. ASU will start right-hander Bradley Wallace, while UT-Martin will RHP John Houston. Wallace is coming off a solid performance at Vanderbilt last week where he tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
THE TEAMS: Arkansas State lost its first series of the year, dropping two of three games at Sam Houston State over the weekend. The Red Wolves kicked off the series with a 5-3 victory over the Bearkats, but dropped the next two games to fall 2-1 in the series. Claude Johnson led ASU at the plate in the series, going 4-for-12 in the series with a double and three RBIs. Ryan Emery helped ASU to victory on Friday night with a two-RBI single in the top of the ninth inning on Friday night to help ASU to a 5-3 victory.
UT-Martin started the season 0-5, but has rebounded to beat to win five of their last six games. The Skyhawks have been plagued by a number of game cancellations this season do to inclement the weather. Wade Collins is leading the lead with .406 batting average, while Chris Ross is 2-0 on the mound.
ASU/UT-MARTIN SERIES HISTORY
• UT-Martin and Arkansas State have played each other 47 previous times with ASU holding a 32-15 all-time record. This will be the first meeting since the 2011 season.
• ASU has won the previous two games in the series.
• The series began in 1981.
SCOUTING THE SKYHAWKS
• The Skyhawks are 5-6 on the season and are winners of the five of their last six victories.
• UT-Martin returns 23 letterwinners from last season, but also welcomed 10 newcomers to the squad this year.
• Wade Collins is the team’s leading hitter with a .406 batting average and has 13 hits on the year.
• Chris Ross has a 2-0 record with a 1.69 ERA in 10.2 innings of work this season.
• Arkansas State had two triples for the week of Feb. 25-March 3.
FITZPATRICK FIRST START
• Freshman Kevin Fitzpatrick made his first career start on Sunday.
• The true freshman made a start in left field and batted in the leadoff position. He went 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
IN THE POLLS
• Arkansas State received votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 poll earlier this season.
• Records indicate that the last time an A-State baseball team was ranked was during the the 1970 season when Arkansas State finished the season ranked 24th in the nation in the final Collegiate Baseball poll.
WALLACE TIES CAREER HIGH
• Junior Bradley Wallace tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 4.2 inning of work on Feb. 26 against Vanderbilt.
A-STATE VS RANKED TEAMS
• ASU is 10-32 against ranked teams since the 2003 season.
• A-State defeated #2 Ole Miss 7-5 in 2008. With the win, ASU defeated the highest ranked team it had faced since 2003.
• The last win over a ranked team was during the 2012 season when the Red Wolve defeated Ole Miss 10-5 in Jonesboro on May 15.
HOME RUN HEROES
• Zach George belted his first home run of the season on Feb. 26 at Vanderbilt. It was his eigth career home run.
• Johnson’s home run just the second of his career.
• Uxa’s home run traveled an estimated 415-feet and was the 17th blast of his career.
• The Red Wolves were down to their last out, but rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Memphis 3-2 on Feb. 19.
• Collin Massanelli drove in two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
MCWILLIAMS SHUTS THEM DOWN
• Senior Seth McWilliams earned two wins in relief action out of the bullpen during the week of Feb. 18-24.
• The right-hander threw 2.2 innings of relief against Memphis on Feb. 19 and earned the victory in ASU’s 3-2 comeback victory.
• McWilliams also earned the victory after pitching 2.1 innings in the Red Wolves 14-6 win over Western Illinois on Feb. 24.
• For the week, McWilliams tossed five innings in relief, struck out seven and did not give up a run.
RING GETS FIRST SAVE
• Freshman Tanner Ring picked up his first career save at Memphis on Feb. 19.
• Ring entered the game in bottom of the ninth inning as a defensive replacement at second base and then moved to the mound in the bottom of the 10th inning.
KOCH SETS CAREER HIGH
• In his first career start, senior John Koch struck out a career-high 11 batters on Feb. 15.
• Koch pitched five innings, gave up three runs on nine hits to earn his first win as a starter.
PITCHING STAFF SHINES
• The A-State pitching staff recorded a school record 19 strike outs in the 10-5 victory over Bradley on Opening night on Feb. 15.
• The previous record was 18 strikeouts, which ASU did twice. The first was in 1995 against Memphis and the second was against Kansas State in 1960.
• On opening weekend, A-State recorded 37 strikeouts and allowed just eight runs and walked 7 batters in 27 innings.
OPENING SERIES SWEEP
• ASU recorded a three-game series sweep for the first time since 1971 and for only the second time in school history.
GRANTHAM MAKES MOST OF FIRST START
• True freshman Adam Grantham earned his first career win on Feb. 17 in a 12-2 victory over Bradley.
• Grantham threw four innings, struck out five and did not allow any runs in his first career start.
• Grantham was a 32nd round draft selection of the Atlanta Braves coming out of high school.
BAKER GOES DEEP
• True freshman Austin Baker hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in his collegiate career on Feb. 16
• Baker went 3-for-3 on the day and was a triple from the cycle. He had three RBIs on the day and was walked once.
• Arkansas State senior right-hander John Koch notched a rare four strike out inning in the Red Wolves 10-5 victory over Bradley Feb. 15. After Bradley’s David Compitello reached on a dropped third strike out in the fourth inning with one out, Koch proceeded to strike out two more batters to end the inning.
STREAKS TO WATCH
LOOKING BACK AT 2012
• ASU had one of the most succesful seasons in school history, finishing with a 34-23 overall record and a 19-9 record in Sun Belt Conference play.
• A-State finished second overall in the SBC and the 34 victories were the most for any team in the Sun Belt Conference and the most in head coach Tommy Raffo's four seasons.
• ASU's 34 victories are also the most since winning 35 games in 1997 and the fourth-most in school history.
• Uxa led the Red Wolves with 10 home runs a year ago and drove in a team-high 44 runs. His .477 slugging percentage and .434 on-base percentage were each the second highest on the team, and he led the Red Wolves with 48 runs scored.
• Jones had a .279 batting average last season including 50 hits, 25 runs scored and seven doubles. He had a 10-game hitting and started 55 games at shortstop. In the field, he had a .966 fielding percentage and committed just eight errors on the year.
• Eight starting position players return for the 2012 team. John Koch, ASU’s all-time career saves leader, will move to the starting rotation this season, while fellow senior Daniel Wright returns after posting a 5.14 ERA last season. He had a strong season in the New England Coast Baseball League where he helped his team win the NECBL Championship Series after posting a 6-0 record in the regular season and a 3.92 ERA.
GOING TO THE SHOW
• A-State had three players drafted from last year’s squad, led by Jacob Lee who was drafted in the ninth round by the Cleveland Indians.
• Lee was the highest player ever drafted from the ASU baseball program.
• Michael Faulkner was taken in the 12th round by Seattle, making him the second highest selection ever in program history.
SUN BELT NETWORK TO AIR ASU-UALR GAME
• The Sun Belt Conference has announced that the Arkansas State baseball game against UALR on May 18 will be televised by the Sun Belt Network through its partnership with Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). An official start time for the game will be announced at a later date.