Red Wolves Take Series With 3-2 Win Over Evansville
JONESBORO, Ark. (2/26/2012) —Junior reliever Seth McWilliams pitched three hitless innings to pick up his first career victory, and junior John Koch notched his third save in as many days as the Arkansas State Red Wolves closed out the series with the Evansville Purple Aces with a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
With the victory, Arkansas State improved to 4-4 on the season and won the four-game weekend series 3-1. Evansville slipped to 2-4 on the year.
McWilliams (1-0) went to the mound in the fifth with ASU trailing 1-0 and pitched three innings without giving up a hit or issuing a walk. Meanwhile, the Arkansas State offense plated a run in the fifth to tie and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth.
An RBI double from catcher Stuart Levy in the fifth sent home the Red Wolves’ first run, and a double down the right field line from left fielder Logan Uxa in the sixth gave ASU a 2-1 advantage. Arkansas State added what proved to be the winning run in the eighth on an RBI single up the middle from designated hitter Ryan Emery.
Evansville threatened in the ninth, but could manage just one unearned run. Center fielder Kevin Kaczmarski reached on an error to lead off for the Purple Aces and advanced to second on a single from designated hitter Kyle Pollack. Koch then got first baseman Jason Hockemeyer to ground into a double play to put two outs on the board. Kaczmarski would eventually score on a wild pitch to cut the ASU lead to 3-2, but Koch earned his third save of the series when third baseman Jake Mahon grounded out to end the game.
“On game-day three, you’re kind of mentally and physically exhausted when playing the fourth game of the weekend,” said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. “It is important to have a good mindset and to finish games. I think today we saw some good things. We were behind again to start off for the seventh time out of eight games, but our guys kept working and chipping away. We expanded late in the eighth and that was the ultimate game winner, knowing that they were going to make a run at us, so I am pleased with that.”
Freshman Chris Kerwood made his first start on the mound for the Red Wolves and gave up just one run in four solid innings of work. Kerwood struck out two while giving up two hits and a pair of walks.
Emery went 2-for-2 with an RBI to lead ASU at the plate.
Right fielder Michael Eckstein went 1-for-3 with an RBI to lead Evansville. Freshman Kyle Freeland (0-1) took the loss for the Purple Aces, giving up one run on four hits in six innings on the mound. Freeland waked three and struck out two.
Arkansas State will be off until March 2 when the Red Wolves host the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State in a three-game weekend series. Friday’s series opener is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., game two is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, and game three will get underway Sunday at 1:00 p.m.