LITTLE ROCK (3/18/11) – The Arkansas State baseball team hit a season-high 15 hits and scored five runs in the first and four in the seventh to win its Sun Belt Conference opener at UALR, 11-5 Friday night at Gary Hogan Field.
The Red Wolves improved to over .500 for the first time this season moving to 10-9 while UALR fell below .500 to 8-9.
Left fielder Logan Uxa went 3-4 from the plate including driving his first home run of the season in the first inning to give the Red Wolves a 5-0 lead. Earlier in the inning Zach George and Todd Baumgartner had each singled and then scored. Uxa also led all players with four RBI.
“No question we were able to throw the first punch and that helped,” said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. “It helps when you have veteran guys in the lineup step up and a lot of that has to do with confidence and seeing someone have success and thinking you can too; that is a positive thing for our offense.”
ASU got another run in the second when Dustin Jones scored on a wild pitch. Uxa drove in another on a one-out double to plate Jordan Castaldo in the fifth inning.
UALR got on the board when Houston hit into a double-play which allowed Garcia to score, moving the Trojans within six runs of the Red Wolves, 7-1.
In the top of the seventh, the Red Wolves bats got going again as Ryan Emery was walked with the bases full to bring in Tyler Smith. Michael George then sacrificed in Baumgartner and Uxa doubled-home Castaldo. Anthony Hecht then drove in Emery on a sacrifice fly before the end of the frame.
UALR scored four more runs the rest of the way, but were never within striking distance as ASU took the win.
Andy Ferguson picked up his third win of the season (3-1) striking out five batters including a stretch where he retired 11-straight batters. Ferguson went 7.0 innings holding UALR to two runs on six hits. Garrett Graziano gave up seven while striking out six Red Wolves batters to pick up his third loss of the campaign (2-3).
Baumgartner went 3-4 from the plate to complement Uxa in leading the Red Wolves. Smith and Castaldo each had two hits for ASU.
ASU and UALR will tussle again on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Hogan Field.