ARLINGTON, Texas (3/23/14) – The Arkansas State baseball team used a five-run seventh inning to take a 13-10 lead over UT Arlington and held on to defeat the Mavericks 14-10 to earn the series victory Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
Trailing 10-8, the Red Wolves (13-10, 5-1) responded to UT Arlington (8-16, 1-5) with a one-out walk by Kevin Fitzpatrick followed by an RBI triple by Dustin Jones to cut the deficit to 10-9. Collin Massanelli tied the game at 10-10 with an RBI infield single to shortstop and forced UTA to make a pitching change. After the change, Joe Schrimpf was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Brett Nickle had a pop up single fall in left field to load the bases.
Austin Baker stepped up to the plate, but before he could attempt to score the go-ahead run, a balk was called on UT Arlington reliever T.J. Whidby to give A-State an 11-10 edge. Baker went on to walk to load the bases again, but Lucas Fedderson fouled out to third for the second out of the inning. Whidby couldn’t take advantage and walked Matt Burgess and Stuart Levy to give Arkansas State two more runs and stretch the lead to 13-10 before Jacob Moreland got UTA out of the inning.
The Red Wolves added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Baker tripled to right-center field and was plated on a sacrifice fly by Fedderson to make the score 14-10. Morgan Croft pitched a scoreless ninth after pitching the seventh and eighth innings to earn the save. Cody Woodhouse picked up his second win of the season after pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief and giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits with no walks and one strikeout.
Offensively, A-State was led with three hits and three RBI’s by Jones. Feddersen also drove in three runs while Zach Maggio plated two and Baker added two hits on the day. The Red Wolves had 12 hits total and nine different players registered hits on the day.
A-State starter Bradley Wallace recorded the first two outs of the top of the first inning, but gave up a single and a two-run homer to Ryan Bottger to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead. Wallace walked the next hitter and gave up an RBI triple to J.M. Twichell to give UTA a 3-0 lead. A fly out to right ended the inning and the Red Wolves found themselves in an early 3-0 hole.
The Red Wolves started a two-out rally of their own in the top of the second with back-to-back singles by Ty Michelotti and Jones, and Michelotti was plated in the next at-bat when Massanelli’s grounder to second base was bobbled. Schrimpf walked to load the bases and brought Maggio to the plate.
Maggio hit a single to right field that plated Jones and Massanelli, while Schrimpf scored after the right fielder let the ball get away from him for an error. A fly out ended the inning, but A-State took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the second inning. The A-State lead didn’t last long however, as Travis Sibley led off the bottom of the second with a home run to left field. Wallace recorded the next three outs to limit the damage and keep the game tied 4-4.
In the bottom of the third, Wallace recorded the first out of the inning, but after a single and walk was taken out in favor of Woodhouse. Woodhouse struck out the first batter he faced, but an infield single to second base loaded the bases for Sibley. Sibley lined a single up the middle that scored two runs and gave the Mavericks a 6-4 lead as the game progressed to the fourth inning.
A-State started the top of the fifth inning with two infield singles by Schrimpf and pinch-hitter Tanner Ring. A walk to Baker loaded the bases and set up a Feddersen two-run single to tie the game at 6-6 that chased UTA starter Zach Thompson with no outs in the inning. After the pitching change, UTA recorded two straight outs before hitting pinch-hitter Fitzpatrick to load the bases with two outs.
Dustin Jones stepped up to the plate and ripped a two-run double to left-center field to score Baker and Feddersen to give Arkansas State an 8-6 lead over the Mavericks. Massanelli walked to load the bases again, but a fly ball to left field by Schrimpf ended the inning.
UT Arlington wasted no time in responding by starting off the bottom of the fifth with two singles and after a fly out to center had runners on first and third with one out. An infield single to shortstop scored a run to make the score 8-7 and an error by Schrimpf on a sacrifice bunt attempt loaded the bases with one out. An error by Feddersen on a ground ball allowed the tying-run to score, but a line drive from the next hitter turned into a double play when Jones snagged the ball out of the air and tossed the ball to Feddersen at second base to end the inning.
Matt Shortall homered with one out in the bottom of the sixth to give UTA the lead back at 9-8. A single and fly out followed to put a runner at first with two outs. The Mavericks stretched the lead to two runs at 10-8 after a double by Twichell, but he was thrown out after rounding second too hard to end the inning.Arkansas State returns to action Tuesday, March 25 to take on regional rival Memphis. First pitch from Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.