Five-Run Eighth Inning Rally Leads A-State to Victory Over Tigers
JONESBORO, Ark. (3/25/14) – Arkansas State scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a two-run deficit and defeat the Memphis Tigers 10-7 in a midweek baseball contest a Tomlinson Stadium Tuesday night.
A-State (15-9) led 5-3 after seven innings but the Tigers scored four runs on two hits and one error in the top of the eighth inning to take 7-5 lead but the Red Wolves were not deterred by the deficit and went to work in the bottom half of the winning.
Austin Baker drove in his third run of the game when he reached on an error by the Tigers’ centerfielder that allowed Massanelli to score from third bring the Red Wolves within a run. Lucas Feddersen followed with an RBI infield-single to the shortstop’s that scored Zach Maggio to tie the game at 5-5.
Matt Burgess drove in the go-ahead run with bloop-single to the left side that plated Baker and came around to score on an RBI double from Ty Michelotti to push the advantage to 10-7. A-State scored its five runs on four hits and one error in the inning.
Colton Kibler, who gave up the lead in the top of the eighth inning, came back out in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning to move to 1-1 on the year. The victory was A-State’s sixth come from behind win on the year and moved the club to 8-2 over its last 10 games.
Memphis jumped out to early lead plating two runs in the first and another in the second off the Red Wolves’ starting pitcher Tanner Gaines. The Tigers’ got to Gaines early for five hits and three runs before giving way Tyler Zuber in the top of the third.
Zuber came in and quieted the Memphis hitters by giving up just two hits across five scoreless innings that allowed the Arkansas State to work its way back into the game.
Baker made a one run game with A-State’s first inside the park home run since 2011 in the bottom of the third after the Memphis right and centerfielders collided while trying to make a play on the ball. The mishap allowed the ball to roll to the wall and Zach Maggio scored while Baker slide under the tag at home plate to pull Arkansas State within 3-2.
The Red Wolves tied the game in the fourth on an error by the Memphis first baseman that allowed Stuart Levy to score from third. With runners on the corners, Collin Massanelli hit a groundball to the Tigers’ first baseman and elected to throw home in an attempt to get Levy out at home, but the throw sailed over the head of the catcher and Levy scored easily. Levy extended his on base streak to 22 games with a double earlier in the inning.
A-State took the lead with a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Maggio and added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI single from Dustin Jones to push the Red Wolves’ lead to 5-3.
Baker, who now has five home runs on the season, finished the night 1-for-3 with three RBIs, while Derek Birginske and Feddersen each had two hits. Maggio, Feddersen, Burgess, Jones each had RBIs, while Michelotti drove in two.
The Red Wolves will travel to Springfield, Mo., for another midweek match up against Missouri State. The start time for the game has been moved to 5:30 p.m. a change from its original start time of 6:30 p.m.
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