MIAMI, (5/13/11) – The Arkansas State baseball team dropped its Sun Belt Conference series opener at FIU, 3-2 Friday night in Miami.
The Red Wolves fell to 22-29 with a 10-15 record in league play while FIU moved to 34-16 with a 17- 8 league mark.
Jeremy Patton hit a solo home run in the first inning to give FIU an early 1-0 lead.
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Jones tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning when he doubled-home sophomore Brandon Milhouse with two outs in the frame. Sophomore Michael Faulkner gave ASU a 2-1 lead when he singled-home Jones on a bloop single to right-center.
Patton drove in two more on a two-out two-RBI double down the right field line in the bottom of the fifth inning to give FIU the lead back at 3-2, plating Bermudez and Wittles.
In the ninth, Milhouse was walked and represented the tying run but was unable to be plated to tie the game.
“Give them some credit they earned it,” said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. “Andy did a great job pitched out of some jams but, you are on the road and have to be able to finish the inning. But Andy still had a quality start so we are pleased with that part of it. But at the same time we still have to score some runs which was very difficult tonight off of Haig, he was very good.”
Faulkner led the Red Wolves at the plate going 2-4 with an RBI, Uxa, Milhouse and Jones also had hits for A-State.
Senior starter Andy Ferguson (5-4) took the loss for the Red Wolves but went 6.1 innings striking out six allowing three runs on eight hits. Sophomore Daniel Wright finished the game for ASU pitching the final one and two-thirds, holding FIU to just one hit and striking out one.
The Golden Panthers outhit A-State 9-5 while FIU committed one error as the Red Wolves were perfect in the field.
ASU and FIU will play game two of the series at 5 p.m. CST at FIU stadium.