Troy hands Red Wolves 12-7 defeat

JONESBORO, Ark - The Troy Trojans (18-12, 7-5 SBC) broke open a tight game with eight runs in the seventh inning and went on to defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 12-7 Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.

Arkansas State (12-17, 6-9 SBC) led 2-1 after four innings of play, but Troy scored three times in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead, then got the big inning in the eighth to go up 12-2.  Arkansas State scored four times in the bottom of the seventh but could not get closer than six the rest of the way as the Trojans completed the three-game sweep after winning Friday and Saturday.

Arkansas State out-hit the Trojans 15-10 on the day, but four Red Wolves errors proved costly as Troy scored five unearned runs.

"Obviously, if we can hold the fort down in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, you don't know what would happen," said ASU Head Coach Tommy Raffo.  "When you keep it close at home, you put yourself in a good position.  We were within two going into the seventh, and it's very discouraging to give up an eight-spot."

"We need to re-focus and really start to look at where we are," added Raffo.  "We are at the halfway point in conference play and we've got to find a way to get better.  Obviously, teams are good in the Sun Belt and we've got to find a way in the final half of conference play to be better than we were in the first half."

Troy took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double from first baseman Ryan Ditthardt before ASU's two third-inning runs put the Red Wolves on top 2-1 when first baseman Brandon Eller delivered a two-run double to right-center.

An RBI ground-out from right fielder Charley Williams and a two-run single from designated hitter Michael Precise erased the ASU lead in the fifth and gave Troy a 4-2 advantage, and the eight-run seventh inning by the Trojans proved to be too much for the Red Wolves to overcome.

Troy starter Travis Burge (2-1) picked up the win for the Trojans, going 5.2 innings on the afternoon.  Burge gave up two runs on nine hits, with five strikeouts and a pair of walks.   Freshman starter Jacob Lee took the loss for ASU to fall to 1-2 on the year.  Lee gave up four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two in six full innings on the mound.

Senior third baseman Guy Brown went 4-for-5 with two runs batted in to lead ASU at the plate, while second baseman Trevor Tyre went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI to lead the Trojans.

The Red Wolves will be back in action Tuesday April 7 when they travel to Memphis to take on the Tigers in a 6:30 p.m. game at Gagliano Stadium.  Memphis will return the game the next day when the Tigers visit Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field for a 6:30 p.m. contest to wrap up the two-game series.