MEMPHIS, Tenn. (4/15/14) – Arkansas State scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning and the bullpen gave up just two runs in 7.2 innings of work as the Red Wolves defeated Memphis 6-4 at FedExPark Tuesday evening.
The Red Wolves (21-16) loaded the bases in the eighth inning and scored the go-ahead run when Eric Wilcoxson was hit-by-a-pitch that pushed across the winning run. Wilcoxson was the second hit batsman of the inning after Dustin Jones was also hit in the inning and scored the go-ahead run.
Austin Baker provided an insurance run with a bases loaded walk later in the inning in an eventful at bat. Baker stayed alive by taking a close pitch on the inside part of the plate and Memphis (19-19) pitching coach Russ McNickle disagreed with the call and was ejected from the game for arguing the call.
Ty Michelotti, who came into the game a defensive replacement in the fifth inning scored the insurance after he drew a walk earlier in the inning. Tyler Hardie had the only hit of the inning with a single that loaded the bases for Wilcoxson.
Tyler Zuber earned his first win as a collegiate baseball player after tossing five innings of shutout baseball out of the bullpen. The freshman also tossed five shutout innings against the Tigers in Jonesboro earlier this season and finished the night with a career-high six strikeouts.
Matt Burgess, who extended his team season-high hitting streak to 12 games, reached base three times on the night and delivered one of the biggest hits of the night in the seventh inning to tie the game. The senior first baseman drilled a pitch back up the middle and Zach Maggio slide around a tag at the plate to tie the game at 4-4.
Trailing 2-0, Arkansas State scored two runs with three straight 1-out hits and its squeeze play in the last four days. Matt Burgess started the rally with a single and scored on an RBI single by Stuart Levy after moving into scoring position on a double down the right field line by Lucas Feddersen.
With runners on the corners, Dustin Jones executed his second squeeze bunt in the last three games to tie the game. With the successful sacrifice the senior shortstop has 33 successful sac bunts in his career and needs just five more to tie the Arkansas State record for sacrifices in a career, which is currently held by Michael Faulkner with 37.
Zach Willis gave the Tigers the lead back with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.
A-State started Adam Grantham allowed two runs on three walks and hit a batter but did not give up a hit in 1.1 innings of work.
Junior Chandler Hawkins followed Grantham and struck out six in 2.2 innings, but gave up two runs in the bottom of the fourth after the Red Wolves scored two in the top half the inning.
Hawkins, who made it through just two innings in his last start April 12 at South Alabama, was sharp in his first relief appearance of the season and needed one more strikeout to a tie a career-high.
Stuart Levy finished the night 3-for-5 with an RBI for A-State.
A-State will return home for a three game home series against Louisiana Monroe April 18-20 at Tomlinson Stadium. Friday night’s first-pitch is set for 5 p.m. and three games can be heard on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA and 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).