JONESBORO, Ark. (3/15/14) – The Arkansas State baseball team got a walk-off RBI single from Matt Burgess to score Dustin Jones for a 4-3 win in 14 innings after earning a 5-3 victory in the first game of a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader sweep of UALR.
Jones reached on an error by the third baseman and moved to second after Zach Maggio was hit by a pitch. Lucas Feddersen put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one and Austin Baker was intentionally walked to load the bases to set up the game-winning hit by Burgess that gave the Red Wolves (11-8, 3-0) a SBC-opening sweep of UALR (9-8, 0-3).
A-State starter Bradley Wallace went four innings and gave up two runs in the fourth inning on a home run and sacrifice fly that gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead. The Red Wolves responded in the bottom of the fifth after a single, walk, and single loaded the bases with one out to set up a Maggio single to plate one run that made the score 2-1. Feddersen hit a sacrifice fly to score the tying run and UALR reliever Jesse Harbin balked in the go-ahead run to give A-State a 3-2 lead.
Colton Kibler pitched four innings of perfect relief, but UALR center fielder Bryson Thionnet doubled down the left field line to lead off the top of the ninth inning and scored the game-tying run on a single by Ryan Scott off A-State reliever Coulton Lee. Morgan Croft entered the game and recorded the next three outs to send the game to extra innings.
Arkansas State’s Cody Woodhouse entered the game in the 10th inning and pitched into the 14th inning, allowing no runs on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts, but gave way to Tyler Zuber with a runner on second and two outs in the inning. Zuber walked the only batter he faced, but a wild pitch advanced UALR’s Jason Prevatt to third. Tanner Gaines relieved Zuber and induced a fly out to right field to get A-State out of the inning and earn the win for the Red Wolves.
Offensively, Jones recorded three hits in the game and scored two runs, including the game winner. Stuart Levy added two hits, while seven other Red Wolves recorded one hit in the game. UALR’s Tanner Rockwell took the loss for the Trojans after starting the game in left field.
In the first game UALR jumped on A-State starter Chandler Hawkins in the top of the first inning with a one-out single and home run by Rockwell to give the Trojans an early 2-0 lead. The lead expanded to 3-0 after a leadoff triple and RBI single in the top of the second inning.
The Red Wolves responded in the third inning after a Collin Massanelli walk and Jones single put runners on the corners with no outs. Maggio bunted a single to plate Massanelli to cut the A-State deficit to 3-1. After a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out, Baker grounded into a fielder’s choice that plated Jones to set the score at 3-2. Baker stole second and scored on a Burgess two-out single to tie the game at 3-3.
A-State took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after Feddersen singled through the left side with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on another Burgess two-out single to set the score at 4-3. In the seventh inning, Feddersen singled with one out, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout. Burgess stepped to the plate with two outs and delivered his third, two-out RBI single of the game to set the final score at 5-3 in favor of Red Wolves.
Hawkins settled down after a rough first two innings and earned the win after pitching six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Woodhouse pitched a scoreless seventh, Kibler followed with a scoreless eighth, and Croft hurled a scoreless ninth to earn his second save in as many games.Arkansas State returns to action in a non-conference contest against No. 12 Ole Miss Wednesday, March 19. First pitch from Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.