JONESBORO, Ark. (2/20/10) - Arkansas State senior Ross Humes pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just two infield hits while striking out five batters to lead the Arkansas State Red Wolves (2-0) to a 5-3 victory over Southern Illinois (0-2) Saturday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
With the win, the Red Wolves clinched the three-game weekend series with the Salukis following a 14-5 ASU win Friday afternoon in the season-opener.
Humes (1-0) combined with relievers Brad Allen and Wes Dagestad to shut down the Salukis until a three-run home run in the ninth inning from Southern Illinois left fielder Jordan Silversten spoiled the shutout. Allen struck out three batters in three innings of work, and Dagestad threw the final inning, striking out one batter to bring the day's total to nine. The three ASU pitchers did not issue a walk on the day.
"Our pitching was outstanding today," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "No walks for the entire game, and we made them earn every little bit they got. Even in the last inning, they had to earn it. Defensively, we made plays. We talk about making routine plays and today we made a few really nice plays in addition to that."
"Ross is a pitcher that is in the strike zone and can also throw quality pitches outside the strike zone," added Raffo. "We saw that today with people chasing pitches. He's got a lot of movement on the baseball, so it's very difficult to settle in against him, and that's what makes him effective."
Arkansas State took advantage of a pair of Saluki errors to get its first two batters of the day on board, and RBI singles from first baseman Murray Watts and designated hitter Ryan Emery sent the runners home for the early 2-0 Red Wolves advantage.
The Red Wolves added two more in the second to double their lead to 4-0. Left fielder Todd Baumgartner sent a base hit up the middle to score the first run of the inning, and Emery delivered his second RBI single of the day, a two-out hit into left field to send home the inning' second run.
Senior catcher Kyle DeGrace doubled in the fifth and later scored on a bunt single from center fielder Michael Faulkner to give the Red Wolves a 5-0 advantage.
Baumgartner went 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead Arkansas State at the plate, while DeGrace, Faulkner and Emery all had two hits on the day.
Freshman Lee Weld (0-1) took the loss for the Salukis, giving up four runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work. Weld struck out four batters and walked two.
The Red Wolves and Salukis will wrap up the series Sunday at 1:00 p.m.