JONESBORO, Ark. (3/29/18) – Arkansas State designated hitter Caleb Squire cashed in a bases loaded opportunity in the bottom of the 12th inning to send the Red Wolves to an 8-7 victory over Louisiana Thursday evening at Tomlinson Stadium in the series opener.
The Red Wolves rallied from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and continued to put runners in scoring position in extra innings before Squire stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs and was hit by the first pitch he saw from Grant Cox that scored Kyle MacDonald for the game-winning run.
It was the third walk-off win for the Red Wolves this season and the second time the squad has won on a walk-off hit-by-pitch.
MacDonald led off the bottom of the inning with an HBP and Jeremy Brown followed with a sacrifice bunt, but reached safely on a throwing error by Cox that allowed MacDonald to advance to third. An intentional walk to Tobias Johnson loaded the bases to set up the winning run.
Arkansas State trailed 7-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning but rallied to tie the game thanks to some timely hitting. MacDonald drove in a run with a double to left center and Johnson later singled in a run to get within 7-6. Andrew Leggo provided the game-tying RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Red Wolves had an opportunity to win the game later in the inning when it had the bases loaded with two outs, but failed to produce the go-ahead hit.
Bo Ritter helped A-State work out of a jam in the 10th inning with Zach LaFleur led off the inning with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sac bunt. The Ragin’ Cajuns then attempted a safety squeeze to score LaFleur, but the bunt attempt was missed and LaFleur was tagged out in a run down to end the threat.
Ritter earned the win after coming into the game in the 10th frame in relief of Coulton Lee. Ritter pitched the final 2.2 innings and struck out two. Bradey Welsh started the game and was brilliant in his first six innings of work. He struck out a career-high 10 and gave up three earned runs and walked two.
Winston Welch led A-State the plate and reached base all six times he batted. He went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and hit his third home run of the season with a solo shot in the seventh inning.
The series continues Friday night at Kell Field with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN App.
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