JONESBORO, Ark. (5/16/13) — Daniel Wright tossed his second complete game of the season as the Arkansas State baseball moved one step closer to securing its spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Wright limited Arkansas-Little Rock (26-26, 11-17) to just two runs on six hits as the Red Wolves (26-27, 12-16 SBC) defeated the Trojans 3-2 Thursday at Tomlinson Stadium. A-State now needs just one victory over its final two games to secure a spot in the SBC Tournament.
Wright was dominant in his second straight nine inning performance of the year. He retired the side in order four times on the night, including the first six batters he faced and then retired nine in a row in the game’s latter innings to improve to 6-4 on the year.
Ryan Roberts provided the offense for A-State with a towering home run in the bottom of the fourth inning that went over the scoreboard in right field. Ryan Emery led off the inning with a walk and Stuart Levy followed with a 1-out single to move Emery into scoring position. Roberts followed a mammoth home run to give ASU a 3-0 lead. It was the second straight game in which Roberts has homered and he now leads the team with four on the year.
ASU had an opportunity to add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when ASU loaded the bases and Stuart Levy hit a ball to the warning track in left field, but Myles Parma made a catch against the wall to end the inning.
ASU worked the count for the second straight inning as Tanner Ring got things started with a walk to lead off the inning. Collin Massanelli followed with a single, but a pair of groundouts quickly gave the Red Wolves two outs in the inning. The Trojans intentionally walked Logan Uxa to load the bases and then Levy flied out to leave the bases loaded.
Wright got into trouble in the sixth inning when the Trojans scored a run thanks in part to an A-State fielding error. Austin Pfeiffer reached to lead off the inning when Alex Potts misplayed a ball second base. The error came to haunt the Red Wolves as Pfeiffer scored on an RBI single from Parma to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Trojans added another run in the top of ninth inning on a solo home run from Bryson Thionnet with two outs in the inning to end streak of nine in a row retired. The senior battled back and struck out Kaleb Jobe to end the game and give ASU its second straight victory.
Over his last 18 innings, Wright has now retired the side in order nine times and has gone at least seven innings in eight straight starts.
ASU and UALR will continue the series on Friday with Bradley Wallace scheduled to get the start for the Red Wolves. First-pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.