JONESBORO (4/2/11) - Arkansas State got eight solid innings out of starting pitcher Jacob Lee and had some offensive opportunities in the eighth and ninth, but ultimately was unable to complete its late rally in a 2-1 setback against No. 21 Troy in a Sun Belt Conference baseball game Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
The Trojans, now 21-5 overall and 7-1 in league play, edged the Red Wolves by one run for the second straight day to clinch the three-game weekend series, and also handed A-State its fourth consecutive one-run setback as it dropped to 12-17 overall and 2-6 in conference action.
Lee, who recorded four strikeouts and issued only one walk, allowed just seven hits and two runs over eight innings of work, but the Trojans were able to plate a run in the third and eighth innings to escape with the narrow victory. Troy's Drew Huhl was equally impressive, holding A-State hitless the first five innings and keeping it off the scoreboard through seven.
Despite recording no hits in the eighth, the Red Wolves were able to take advantage of three walks and a hit batter to score their only run. Anthony Hect was hit by relief pitcher Tyson Workman to bring home Logan Uxa with the bases loaded and only one out, but Workman worked his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
Following two quick outs, ASU recorded two hits and was issued one walk in the ninth, its only inning with multiple hits, to the load bases and give itself an opportunity to complete the rally. However, Workman was again able to work his way out of the jam with a strikeout to pick up the save and clinch the victory for the Trojans.
"We had some two-out opportunities as the game went on, but were unable to get a clutch two-out hit," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "Obviously, we had some opportunities in the eighth and ninth, but just didn't get those extra runs we needed. Huhl did a great for them, and we just couldn't get anything going against him the first six innings. Jacob gave us every opportunity to win the game, and we're proud of him and the way he played. He's just got to keep having those kind of outings and sooner or later good things are going to happen for him."
The Red Wolves finished with four hits, including doubles by both Michael Faulkner and Claude Johnson. Michael George and Todd Baumgartner both finished with a single as well, while Faulkner and Uxa were walked twice.
T.J. Rivera was responsible for four of the Trojans' seven hits and drove in one run for Troy, which also turned two double plays to help hold off the Red Wolves.
The three-game series between ASU and Troy will conclude Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.