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A-State is now 13-24 after defeating Central Arkansas 12-5 Wednesday night. It snapped a six-game losing skid for the Red Wolves and was the team’s first win on a Wednesday this season (1-3)
Jeremy Brown continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 effort and four RBI, which tied his career best. He hit his third homer of the year and extended his hit streak to 18 games, which is the sixth longest in school history. He now has 120 RBI in his career and is seventh all-time in A-State history.
Carter Holt went five innings and allowed three runs, two earned, with two walks and two strikeouts to pick up his first collegiate victory. The five innings pitched were a career high.
The Red Wolves rank inside the top 100 nationally in walks taken with 172 to rank 96th, doubles with 69 to rank 95th, and hit by pitches with 53 to rank 54th.
A-State vs. South Alabama In-Depth Series History
A-State trails the all-time series with South Alabama 27-69 in a series that began during the 1993 season. All 96 meetings have occurred with both teams as members of the SBC. A-State went 2-4 in both 1993 and 1994 against the Jaguars. South Alabama won 11-10 in 10 innings in Mobile, Ala., in the first game during the 1993 season before a 4-1 victory in the second game. A-State claimed its first win with a 10-9 win in 10 innings in the third game of that opening series. Four of the first 12 games between the two schools went into extra innings.
South Alabama won more games in the season series every year until 2003 when the Red Wolves went 2-2 against the Jaguars. A-State took two of three from the 25th-ranked Jaguars in Jonesboro that season before falling to USA in the SBC Tournament. The regular-season series win was the first for Arkansas State against the Jaguars all-time.
A-State also took two-of-three from South Alabama in 2005, but didn’t take another series from the Jags until head coach Tommy Raffo’s first season in 2009. A-State lost the series in 2010 1-2 and was swept in the regular season in 2011, but defeated USA 12-9 in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament that season.
The 2012 season saw the Red Wolves’ first ever sweep of the Jaguars in Jonesboro by scores of 8-1, 6-1, and 2-1. However, USA returned the favor with a sweep in 2013, but A-State took two of three from South Alabama in 2014 including a 7-6 win in 14 innings in game two of the set. A-State also took a 4-3 decision against the Jags in the SBC Tournament in Mobile, Ala.
Since 2015, A-State is just 2-10 against South Alabama with a 1-4 record against USA in 2015 with two losses in the SBC Tournament. South Alabama swept A-State in Mobile in 2016 before taking two of three in Jonesboro in the regular season last year and then eliminating A-State in the SBC Tournament by a score of 4-2. A-State had four hitters hit over .300 against South Alabama last year, including Joe Schrimpf with a .375 average, while Justin Felix hit two homers. However, A-State’s pitchers struggled to a 7.75 ERA against the Jaguars with Brandon Stuckenschneider’s 5.06 mark in 5.1 innings representing the best on the squad.
Head coach Tommy Raffo is 12-20 against South Alabama in his career. The Red Wolves were 10-10 against the Jaguars in his first six seasons, but are just 2-10 since the beginning of the 2015 campaign.
South Alabama is currently 24-15 and is coming off a 5-3 loss in midweek action to No. 15 Southern Miss, but took two of three from Texas State in their last SBC series. The Jaguars are 12-5 in league play so far and are second in the SBC’s East Division behind Coastal Carolina.
Notes from UCA Midweek Contest
The Red Wolves are now 20-14 all-time against the Bears after a 12-5 win in midweek action that snapped a six-game losing streak for A-State. Arkansas State travels to Conway May 8.
A-State saw several players extend notable streaks with Jeremy Brown and Drew Tipton extending their hit streaks to 18 and 12 games, respectively. Brown’s is the sixth longest in school history, while Tipton has also reached base in 16 straight games, which is tied with Grant Hawkins for the second longest by an A-State player this season.
Brown swatted his third home run of the season in the contest, while Tobias Johnson hit his fifth home run of the season to put him second on the team in the category. Johnson didn’t have a home run all of last season.
Drew Tipton set a career high with three runs scored in the contest, while Winston Welch set a career-high with two doubles in the game.
Jeremy Brown drove in four runs to tie a career high. He now has 22 on the year and 120 in his career, which is the seventh most in school history. He is 13 away from tying for sixth most in A-State history with Murray Watts, who had 133 from 2008-10.
Freshman Carter Holt picked up the win by allowing three runs (two earned) in a career-high five innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He is the first true freshman to earn a win for A-State since Collin Cahill did last season against Cincinnati March 5.
Notes from Troy Series
The Red Wolves fell to 11-34 all-time against Troy after being swept by the Trojans April 20-21 despite scoring 22 runs in three games, which was the second most A-State has scored in a three-game series against Troy.
Bradey Welsh picked up his sixth quality start in the Friday night game to tie Nate Alberius for the team lead. He allowed three runs (all earned) on nine hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Jeremy Brown hit .500 in the series and slugged 1.071 as five of his seven hits with for extra bases, including three doubles to tie him for first in the SBC with 14. He also hit his second home run of the season and first triple. He drove in seven runs with three RBI in each of the April 21 games. Additionally, he now has a 17-game hit streak, which is the longest since 2011 when Ryan Emery had one that reached 17 games. It is tied for the sixth-longest in school history.
Casey Vaughan also had a nice series with a .500 batting average, while Drew Tipton hit .417 with two doubles and a steal. Tipton currently sports an 11-game hit streak. Kyle MacDonald only had three hits, but two of them hit the scoreboard in right field to give him seven homers.
Tobias Johnson hit an inside-the-park home run in the Friday game to go back-to-back with Jeremy Brown. The inside-the-parker was the first since Brown did so at Northwestern State last season (Feb. 25, 2017).
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.
271 and Counting for Raffo; New Faces on Staff
A-State head coach Tommy Raffo has a career record of 271-277-1 as he is currently in his 10th season at Arkansas State. The 271 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.