|Website | Game Notes||UNO Showcase ($)
95.3FM The Ticket FM
|Game Notes | Media Guide|
|Tickets | Live Stats | Live Audio | @AStateBaseball | @AStateGameDay|
A-State improved to 3-2 on the year after a 9-0 midweek win over Mississippi Valley State. It was the team’s second shutout of the season after a 1-0 win over Illinois State to begin the season. The Red Wolves had three shutouts last season.
The Red Wolves were only able to get five contests of their nine-game home stand to open the 2018 season in as the three-game series against UAB was cancelled before Wednesday’s matchup with Mississippi Valley State was also rained out.
Nate Alberius has posted back-to-back quality starts and started back-to-back games for A-State after the UAB series cancellation. He tossed 6.1 innings against SEMO Feb. 20 before throwing seven scoreless innings and picking up his first win against MVSU Feb. 27.
Grant Hawkins stole three bases against the Delta Devils to get him to four on the season, which is tied for sixth most in the Sun Belt.
A-State vs. New Orleans In-Depth Series History
A-State trails the all-time series to New Orleans 25-49. The first matchup occurred during the 1974 season when the team traveled to the New Orleans Tournament. Arkansas State also faced Illinois State and Notre Dame at the event, but lost to the Privateers 19-0 in their lone matchup. That game was the only one of the 74 contests the two teams played as nonconference opponents. The rest were while the teams were members of the American South Conference or Sun Belt Conference.
The two teams met again in 1988 as members of the American South Conference with UNO sweeping the Red Wolves in New Orleans to end the season. A-State didn’t win a game against the Privateers until the 1990 season when the Red Wolves took a 3-1 decision in Jonesboro with losses in the other two games of the series. A-State was 1-12 against UNO while both were members of the ASC from 1988-1991 with one loss coming in the conference tournament.
From 1992-2010 the two teams were members of the Sun Belt and played at least once each season except for the 1993 campaign. Over that time frame A-State is 24-36 against UNO, including a 3-4 mark in the SBC Tournament.
Head coach Tommy Raffo is 4-2 against New Orleans all-time with three-game series played in each of his first two seasons (2009 and 2010) when UNO was still a member of the Sun Belt Conference. A-State lost two of three during the 2009 campaign at New Orleans before sweeping the Privateers in New Orleans in 2010 by scores of 14-6, 7-6, and 17-3.
UNO is now in the Southland Conference and is currently 4-5 on the year with wins over Illinois-Chicago, Southern, Ball State, and Virginia Tech.
Notes from Mississippi Valley State Game
A-State improved to 1-1 all-time against the Delta Devils with a 9-0 win to avenge last season’s 10-9 loss to MVSU. The two teams were scheduled to play Wednesday, but the game was cancelled due to rain. The shutout is the second of the season for the Red Wolves and only one behind the amount the team posted all of last season.
Nate Alberius posted his second quality start in as many outings with seven innings pitched and no runs allowed on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. For his effort he earned his first A-State victory. Tanner Kirby tossed a scoreless eighth and Bryan Ayers put a zero on the board in the ninth in his first action of the season.
The Red Wolves registered nine hits in the game, but only scored runs in the first and seventh innings. The team put up four runs in the bottom of the first behind a RBI single from Kyle MacDonald, two-run single by Casey Vaughan, and sacrifice fly by Cullen Ray, which was his first career RBI. A-State added five runs in the seventh with the help of just one hit, a two-run double by Jacob Jablonski (the first extra-base hit of his young career), to put the score at 9-0.
Logan Andersen stole his first career base as a member of the Red Wolves while Grant Hawkins stole three to give him a team-high four, which is also tied for sixth most in the Sun Belt. It also tied his career high for stolen bases in a game when he did the same last year in the second game of a doubleheader against NYIT on Feb. 18.
Notes from SEMO Midweek Game
A-State improved to 38-33 all-time against Southeast Missouri with the 7-6 victory Feb. 20 and the Red Wolves are now 158-120-2 against current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Red Wolves fell behind 3-0 after the Redhawks scored one run in each of the first three innings and were down 4-2 before Logan Anderen hit the team’s first triple of the season in the bottom of the fifth to score a run and scored on the play himself after a throwing error by SEMO. Andersen now owns a three-game hit streak.
Tobias Johnson, making his first start of the season at DH, provided a pair of two-out RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings to give the Red Wolves a 6-4 edge. Johnson had three hits on the night for the team’s second three-hit contest of the season and he also registered the first multiple-RBI game of the season for the team.
Payton Lannon registered his first hold of the season as he recorded the final two outs of the seventh and the first out of the eighth. He struck out two hitters with the tying runs on second and third to end the seventh. Tanner Kirby also picked up a hold while getting two outs.
Nate Alberius registered the team’s second quality start of the season in his A-State debut with 6.1 innings pitched, two walks, two strikeouts, four hits allowed, and four runs (only three earned). He was in line for the win before a blown save. Jesse Kutzke allowed two runs in the ninth, one belonging to Kirby after he issued a walk to start the frame. However, with A-State’s walk-off hit-by-pitch Kutzke earned his first A-State win.
Jacob Jablonski was plunked for the game-winning and walk-off RBI, the first run batted in of his career. Kyle MacDonald led off the inning with a walk, and after another walk and a hit-by-pitch scored the winning run when Jablonski was hit.
Kyle MacDonald was 1-for-4 on the night and has reached base in all four games of the season, while Jeremy Brown and Grant Hawkins have three-game hit streaks.
With Arkansas State’s 7-6 walk-off win over Southeast Missouri, the team now has 27 walk-off victories since Tommy Raffo became head coach in 2009. However, the walk-off HBP was the first of its kind during that time frame.
14 of those walk-offs have been singles, the last coming when Justin Felix knocked in the winning run of A-State’s 9-8 win over Little Rock in 18 innings May 19, 2017. A-State has won on three walk-off wild pitches under Raffo, while errors, sacrifice flies, fielder’s choices, and home runs have happened twice. Only once has the walk-off win occurred on a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
The two home runs were a three-run homer by Zach George against ULM April 6, 2012 for a 7-6 win and a solo shot by Alex Potts to beat FAU March 23, 2013 by a score of 3-2 in 10 innings.
Head coach Tommy Raffo’s first victory was a walk-off win against Texas State in Arlington, Texas against Texas State when Josh DeMoney singled home Cody Pace for a 4-3 win in 10 innings.
Since 2014, the walk-off wins have been less traditional with only five of the 11 being singles. During that time frame, two have been via wild pitch and fielder’s choice, while the other two were on a sacrifice fly and hit-by-pitch.
Five of the walk-off wins have been by scores of 4-3, while four have been by scores of 3-2 and now 7-6, each. A-State has had one walk-off victory by a 1-0 score, which was March 15 vs. SIU in 10 innings when Jack Bakamus scored on a walk-off wild pitch. The highest scoring walk-off win was a 13-12 win May 26, 2016 against Troy. Tanner Ring capped A-State’s comeback in the SBC Tournament game after the team trailed 12-4.
Rain, Rain Go Away
A-State’s weekend series with UAB was cancelled due to heavy rainfall after the series was set to begin Saturday, Feb. 24 with a doubleheader after Friday’s game was moved. However, it didn’t stop raining much throughout the weekend and field conditions were too poor to play.
The Red Wolves also had to cancel the second game of a two-game midweek series against Mississippi Valley State Feb. 28 due to inclement weather.
This is the first entire weekend to be wiped out due to weather since the 2006 season when A-State was scheduled to play ULM and Mississippi Valley State to open the season. However, the whole weekend was cancelled due to weather, but A-State was able to get Henderson State to come play a single game on Sunday for its season opener.
Hopefully this year goes better than 2015 when A-State had 26 games altered in some form to due to weather. That season the team opted to travel to Emerson, Ga., to play No. 7 Louisville (where A-State won two of three) instead of going to Natchitoches, La., to play Northwestern State and Creighton one weekend because of the threat of bad weather. Then the Red Wolves first conference series against UT Arlington was moved from Jonesboro to Jackson, Miss., because of snow and ice in the Northeast Arkansas area.
With the four cancelled games against UAB and Mississippi Valley State, along with Feb. 17’s Illinois State contest having to be moved to a Sunday doubleheader, the team has already had five games altered due to weather and wasn’t able to play four of the games on its season-opening home stand.
261 and Counting for Raffo; New Faces on Staff
A-State head coach Tommy Raffo has a career record of 261-258-1 as he is currently in his 10th season at Arkansas State. The 261 wins are the third most at the school behind J.A. “Ike” Tomlinson and Bill Bethea.
Raffo has a completely new staff to assist him this season. Rick Guarno joined the staff as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with his most recent stint at UT Martin. Guarno played seven seasons of professional baseball before getting into coaching.
Rowdy Hardy is the team’s new pitching coach and comes to A-State from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. He played six seasons of professional baseball before getting into coaching.
Volunteer assistant Craig Massoni rounds out the staff and he just concluded his playing days after five seasons of professional baseball.