BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (4/6/14) – Bradley Wallace allowed one runs in seven solid innings and Arkansas State knocked out Western Kentucky’s Jake Thompson in the fourth inning, as the Red Wolves beat the Hilltoppers 7-5 on Sunday afternoon.
A-State salvaged a win the series after dropping the first two games on Friday and Saturday and improved to 17-15 overall and 8-4 in the Sun Belt Conference to remain in second place in the league standings. WKU fell to 18-15 on the year and 6-6 in the SBC.
Wallace (3-3) scattered five Western Kentucky hits and gave up his only run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. The Red Wolves right-hander was aided by an errorless defensive effort behind him and lowered his season ERA by nearly a full run to 4.23.
He walked one and had three timely strikeouts in his second straight seven-inning outing of the season. He threw 62 of his 99 pitches for strikes before giving way to Morgan Croft in the eighth inning, who pitched the final two innings in relief.
A-State jumped out in front with a run in the first running on one of two sacrifice flies from Matt Burgess. The sophomore first baseman also drove in a run on a groundout in the third inning and then added another RBI in the fourth inning that gave the Red Wolves a 6-0 lead. He tied a career-high with his fourth RBI in the ninth inning on a double down the right field to add an insurance run for Croft.
Zach Maggio reached in each of his five at-bats with four hits and was also hit by a pitch. He tied a career-high in runs scored with four from his leadoff position in the Arkansas State batting order, while freshman Eric Wilcoxson walked a career-high three times batting from the No. 2 spot in the order for the first time this season.
Leading 3-0 after three innings, A-State broke the game open with three runs in the fourth inning. Stuart Levy and Dustin Jones each walked to start the inning and Maggio was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wilcoxson then drew a bases loaded walk and Austin Baker followed with an RBI single. Burgess drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to push the advantage to 6-0.
Baker went 2-for-4 with an RBI, stolen base and two runs scored on the afternoon. He stole third base in the third inning and then scored on the same place when the throw from WKU catcher Ryan Messex sailed high and Baker scored easily on the error to put A-State up 3-0.
Thompson was charged with six runs (five earned), struck out three and walked two in the loss. Trevor Lower drove in a run for WKU in the fifth inning and the Hilltoppers scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to get within two runs.
WKU scored all four runs with two outs in the inning, three of which came off the bat of Scott Wilcox on basses loaded double. Ryan Church drove in a run to make a two-run game, but before Philip Dedrick grounded out to end the game.
A-State returns home for a midweek match-up against in-state opponent Central Arkansas Tuesday, March 8 at Tomlinson Stadium. First-pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. with pregame coverage on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA starting at 6:15. Video streaming will also be available in the StateZone at AStateRedWolves.com
For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State baseball by following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesbaseball).