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A-State is now 12-21 on the season after dropping a 10-3 decision to No. 7 Ole Miss in midweek action Wednesday night.
Andrew Leggo hit the first home run of his career in the loss to the Rebels. It was an opposite-field solo shot over the visitors’ bullpen in right field.
Arkansas State’s bullpen worked three scoreless innings to finish the game at Ole Miss with Korey Wasson, Payton Lannon, and Chase Nix working an inning each. Lannon and Nix tossed perfect innings.
Jeremy Brown, Winston Welch, and Jacob Jablonski each had two hits in the game with Jablonski hitting his first career career triple. Additionally, Brown hit his 11th double to tie for the team lead.
The Red Wolves rank inside the top 100 in the country in walks and hit-by-pitches with its 162 walks ranking 76th and 48 HBP’s ranking 55th. Kyle MacDonald is 41st in the nation in on-base percentage (.480).
A-State vs. Troy In-Depth Series History
A-State trails the all-time series with Troy by a count of 11-31 in a series that began in the 2006 season. All 42 matchups have come with the two teams as members of the Sun Belt Conference.
Arkansas State dropped the first 12 games of the series to the Trojans from 2006-2009 by getting swept in each series despite three of the four (2006, 2007, and 2009) being held in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves earned a 5-4 win in the first game of the 2010 series in Troy, Ala., for their first victory of the series, but dropped the next two 11-6 and 9-3. A-State beat the Trojans 12-2 in the SBC Tournament that season, but were later eliminated by Troy in the event with a 12-5 loss and 12-8 setback in 11 innings.
The Red Wolves were swept by the Trojans in 2011, but finally claimed their first series victory in 2012 at Troy. A-State lost the first game 7-6, but rebounded with a 16-8 win and 5-4 triumph in the final two games. However, A-State lost an 8-3 contest to Troy in the 2012 SBC Tournament. Arkansas State lost two-of-three to Troy in 2013, but went 1-1 against the Trojans in the conference tournament with a 3-2 win eliminating Troy at the event.
A-State took two-of-three against Troy in 2014 in Jonesboro and split with them in the SBC again with a 12-0 run-rule victory to eliminate the Trojans. A-State was swept by Troy in 2015 and lost two-of-three in 2016 before a 13-12 win in the conference tournament eliminated Troy. A-State trailed 12-4, but came back to win the game. The two teams didn’t play in 2017.
Troy has swept the regular-season series six times, while A-State has never swept a regular-season series against them. The Trojans have won nine of the regular-season series against Arkansas State to just two for A-State. Troy also leads the series 5-4 in conference tournament matchups, but A-State has eliminated Troy three times, while Troy has put A-State out just once.
Head coach Tommy Raffo is 11-22 against Troy with those 11 wins representing the only wins against the Trojans in school history.
Troy enters the weekend at 25-12 with its .676 winning percentage ranking as the best in the Sun Belt. However, the Trojans are 8-7 in league play to rank fourth in the East Division, a half-game behind Georgia Southern. Troy defeated No. 17 Coastal Carolina 4-2 in the first game of its last conference series, but dropped a couple of one-run games (3-2 and 5-4) to close out the set. The Trojans are coming off a pair of 10-2 wins in the midweek against in-state foes Alabama A&M and Alabama State.
Notes from Ole Miss Game
A-State is now 25-85 all-time against Ole Miss after the 10-3 loss to the No. 7 Rebels Wednesday, April 18. The trip to Oxford, Miss., was the latest its been in a season under head coach Tommy Raffo.
The Red Wolves fell behind early by allowing seven runs in the first two innings with Zachary Patterson lasting only 1.2 innings, while Carter Holt pitched 3.1 innings out of the bullpen. However, A-State’s bullpen tossed three shutout innings to close out the game. Korey Wasson pitched a scoreless sixth inning and worked around a hit and HBP to put a zero on the board. Then Payton Lannon worked a perfect seventh, before Chase Nix pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. It was Wasson’s fifth scoreless outing out of seven appearances and third straight.
Andrew Leggo launched his first career home run in the game. He put A-State on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning with a solo shot to the opposite field over the visitor bullpen. A switch-hitter, Leggo’s round-tripper was the first extra-base hit of his career and came from the right side hitting against a left-handed pitcher.
Jeremy Brown, Winston Welch, and Jacob Jablonski each had two hits in the game. Brown doubled to tie for the team-lead in doubles with 11 along with Kyle MacDonald and in the process extended his hitting streak to 14 games, which is the longest by an A-State player this year. Welch also doubled in the contest, his fifth of the season and he has reached base in 16 of the 25 games he’s played in, including 16 of his last 19 games. Jablonski hit the first triple of his career in the game, and the team’s seventh of the season. In his last two starts, Jablonski is 4-for-7 with a triple, walk, and RBI.
Notes from UT Arlington Series
A-State is now 39-46 against UT Arlington after losing two of three to the Mavs April 14-15. Friday’s game was pushed back to be part of a Saturday doubleheader after lightning from storms in the area Friday night prevented the teams from playing.
The Red Wolves held on to win game one 6-4 after jumping out to a 6-0 lead. Winston Welch led the Red Wolves at the plate with two hits and two RBI, including his fourth double of the season. Jeremy Brown hit his ninth double in the game, while Grant Hawkins hit his second home run in the contest. Bradey Welsh allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in six innings for his second win of the season. Bo Ritter came in and got the final 2.2 outs for his second save of the season.
Nate Alberius went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts, but left with the game tied 2-2 and A-State lost 4-2. The Red Wolves out hit UTA 7-6 and are now 10-3 when they out hit the other team.
The final game of the series was a 4-2 game before UTA scored seven in the bottom of the eighth inning to win 11-2. Drew Tipton had his third three-hit game of the year and led off the contest with a home run, the team’s first lead-off home run since Ty White did so against ULM April 22, 2016. Kyle MacDonald hit his team-best fifth home run in the game.
The Red Wolves won the first game of the April 14 doubleheader in their grey uniforms. A-State had not won a game in grey uniform tops since the 2015 season before that win.
Arkansas State had its third walk-off victory of the season in the March 29 8-7 win over Louisiana when Caleb Squire was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 12th inning. It is A-State’s 29th walk-off win under Tommy Raffo and only the second by HBP with the other occurring this season when A-State beat SEMO 7-6 on a HBP by Jacob Jablonski. The other walk off this season was a single by Drew Tipton to give A-State a 9-8 win against SIU March 13.
15 of those walk-offs have been singles after Tipton’s hit March 13 versus the Salukis. Before that the last was when Justin Felix knocked in the winning run of A-State’s 9-8 win over Little Rock in 18 innings May 19, 2017. A-State has won on three walk-off wild pitches under Raffo, while errors, sacrifice flies, fielder’s choices, and home runs have happened twice. Only once has the walk-off win occurred on a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
The two home runs were a three-run homer by Zach George against ULM April 6, 2012 for a 7-6 win and a solo shot by Alex Potts to beat FAU March 23, 2013 by a score of 3-2 in 10 innings.
Head coach Tommy Raffo’s first victory was a walk-off win against Texas State in Arlington, Texas against Texas State when Josh DeMoney singled home Cody Pace for a 4-3 win in 10 innings.
Since 2014, the walk-off wins have been less traditional with only six of the 13 being singles. During that time frame, two have been via wild pitch, fielder’s choice, and hit-by-pitch, while one was by sacrifice fly.
Five of the walk-off wins have been by scores of 4-3, while four have been by scores of 3-2, 7-6, and 8-7. A-State has had one walk-off victory by a 1-0 score, which was last season versus SIU when A-State won a walk-off wild pitch. The highest scoring walk-off win was a 13-12 win May 26, 2016 against Troy. Tanner Ring capped A-State’s comeback in that SBC Tournament game after being behind 12-4.
Three of them have now been by scores of 9-8, but all three have been extra-inning affairs. The first was a walk-off walk by Murray Watts on April 24, 2010 before last season’s 9-8, 18-inning win with Justin Felix’s walk-off single, followed by Drew Tipton’s single to give A-State a 9-8 win in 11 innings over Southern Illinois March 13.
270 and Counting for Raffo; New Faces on Staff
A-State head coach Tommy Raffo has a career record of 270-277-1 as he is currently in his 10th season at Arkansas State. The 270 wins are the third most at the school behind J.A. “Ike” Tomlinson and Bill Bethea.
Raffo has a completely new staff to assist him this season. Rick Guarno joined the staff as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with his most recent stint at UT Martin. Guarno played seven seasons of professional baseball before getting into coaching.
Rowdy Hardy is the team’s new pitching coach and comes to A-State from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. He played six seasons of professional baseball before getting into coaching.
Volunteer assistant Craig Massoni rounds out the staff and he just concluded his playing days after five seasons of professional baseball.