JONESBORO (4/1/11) – The Arkansas State baseball team threatened with two runners on in the ninth inning with two outs, but were unable to plate the tying run falling to No. 21 Troy, 1-0, in their Sun Belt Conference series opener Friday at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
The Red Wolves fell to 12-16 with a 2-6 mark in league action while Troy improved to 20-4 with a 6-1 conference mark.
It was a classic pitcher’s duel as both pitchers were scoreless through the first six innings before Troy’s Drew Pritchard drove in Tyler Hannah to break the scoreless tie, 1-0. Hannah had doubled before Prichard singled to center field.
With two outs in the ninth The Red Wolves’ Todd Baumgartner and Ryan Emery hit back to back singles to put two on. But ASU was unable to plate the tying run and ended the inning with Baumgartner and Emery stranded.
“They got a two out hit and we didn’t get an opportunity for a two-out hit and Ray was good all the way through, got to tip your hat to him,” said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. “I thought Andy did a good job of matching him, we just couldn’t get any support for Andy.”
Baumgartner led ASU going 2-4 from the plate. Troy outhit the Red Wolves 7-6 while Jordan Castaldo recorded a double for ASU and Hannah also had one for the Trojans.
Andy Ferguson (3-1) pitched effectively for eight full innings taking the loss for ASU while Tyler Ray pitched nearly the complete game (8.2 innings) to improve to 6-0 on the year to take the win for the Trojans.
ASU and Troy continue their series on Saturday with a 4 p.m. first pitch at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.