JONESBORO, Ark. (2/25/12) - The Arkansas State baseball team (3-4) continued its four-game weekend series with Evansville (2-3) on Saturday, splitting a doubleheader against the Purple Aces with a 5-4 victory in the opener before falling 5-1 in the second game at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
A-State has now guaranteed itself at least a split in the series after also picking up a 4-2 victory Friday night. ASU, in the midst of a 10-game home stand, now stands 3-1 at Tomlinson Stadium this season.
Arkansas State didn't' take a lead in the first game until the seventh inning, but plated two runs during its at-bat to set the final score at 5-4. Evansville used a run in the first, third and fourth innings to build a 3-1 advantage before ASU tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth. The Purple Aces scored their final run in the sixth inning, managing only one hit over the final three innings.
Daniel Wright pitched the game's first five innings for the Red Wolves before giving way to Cory Kyle, who picked up the victory with three innings of work. John Koch picked up the save, pitching a perfect ninth inning that included one strikeout.
Ryan Emery led ASU offensively with two hits, including a game-winning single in the seventh inning that accounted for his team-high two RBI. Emery drove home Zach George and Michael Faulkner, who both drew walks earlier in the inning, with his hit to left field.
Kaleb Brown and Faulkner both had an RBI in the fourth inning and George, who finished with a team-high three hits, put ASU's first run on the scoreboard in the third with an RBI single. Dustin Jones also recorded a hit, one of eight for the Red Wolves in the contest.
Evansville had 12 hits in the game, but issued five walks and committed one error that the Red Wolves were able to capitalize on.
The Purple Aces responded with a strong start to the second half of the doubleheader, scoring four runs during their first at-bat that proved to be the difference in the game. Evansville finished the game with 10 hits, but four of those came in the first inning.
Evansville added its final run in the sixth inning to make the score 5-0, and ASU scored its lone run in the eighth. The Red Wolves finished the game with seven hits, but managed multiple hits in only the fourth inning and got caught in four double plays.
Emery and Logan Uxa led ASU with two hits each and Faulkner was responsible for its RBI.
The Red Wolves will close out their series with Evansville on Sunday at 1 p.m.