AUBURN, Ala. (2/20/11) - The Arkansas State baseball team (0-3) concluded play at the Auburn Tournament Sunday afternoon, dropping an 8-2 decision to No. 13 Virginia (3-0) at Plainsman Park.
Auburn put a pair of runs across the plate in each of the first two innings to take an early 4-0 lead, but the the Red Wolves cut their deficit in half with two runs in the top of the seventh. However, the Cavaliers took advantage of two fielding errors in the bottom half of the inning to score three unearned runs and push their lead to 7-2. Virginia added another unearned run in the eighth inning to set the final score.
Virginia finished with just three more hits than ASU, 8-5, but scored five unearned runs during a game that saw the Red Wolves commit six errors. Virginia's three earned runs all came over the first two innings against starting pitcher Daniel Wright, who allowed just one hit over the last two of his four innings of work.
The Cavalier's Cody Winiarski held A-State to just four hits over six innings, picking up the win. While ASU scored two runs in the seventh, it managed only one hit over its last three at-bats against Virginia relievers Justin Thompson and Kyle Crockett.
Todd Baumgartner, Jordan Castaldo, Ryan Emery, Logan Uxa and Anthony Hect were responsible for ASU's five hits, while Virginia was led by Chris Taylor with two hits and two RBI.
"We pulled within 4-2 and then they broke the game open with three runs in the seventh when unfortunately we helped them out with some errors, which is frustrating," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "They earned some runs early in the game, but we have to stop helping other teams out with our mistakes. We've got to learn and get better from this experience as we move forward."
The Red Wolves started the seventh inning with back-to-back walks and two outs later, Baumgartner was able to deliver a double to right-center field that brought home Michael Faulkner and Anthony Hect. A-State's next batter flied out to leave Baumgartner stranded on second, one of seven Red Wolves' left on base during the game.
Virginia's four runs over its next two at-bats were all unearned and allowed it to distance itself late. The Cavaliers were able to scatter in three hits in the seventh and eighth innings, helping them take advantage of the ASU miscues.
ASU plays five of its next six games at Tomlinson Stadium, including their home opener against Murray State on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.