MEMPHIS, Tn - The Memphis Tigers (12-18) made the most of 17 hits and nine Arkansas State (12-18) errors to defeat the Red Wolves 16-8 Tuesday night in a non-conference game at Gagliano Stadium.
The nine ASU errors tied a school record set on five previous occasions, the last being a 1991 loss to Memphis.
The Red Wolves led 1-0 after their first trip to the plate, but Memphis scored all 16 of its runs in the first five innings to put the game out of reach.
Arkansas State used a pair of base hits and a couple of wild pitches to put a run on the board in the Red Wolves' first at-bat. Left fielder Cody Pace led off with an infield single, moved to second on a single from third baseman Guy Brown and took advantage of two wild pitches from Memphis starter Ryan Fraser to complete the trip home.
Memphis answered with a two-out solo home run from shortstop Brett Bowen in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 1-1, then used a pair of ASU throwing errors and three hits to push four more runs across in the second.
With two runners aboard and no outs, Memphis third baseman Heith Hartsfield laid down what looked to be a routine sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Brown at third. Covering at first, ASU second baseman Giovanni Garcia lost the ball in the setting sun and Brown's throw sailed to the right field fence. First baseman Brandon Eller's throw home was errant, and all three runners came home for the 4-1 Memphis advantage. An RBI single from right fielder Tyler Heulsing sent home another run before the Red Wolves were able to get out of the inning trailing 5-1.
The Tigers added another score in the third when designated hitter Cole Shelton doubled home a run to push the Tiger lead to 6-1, but Fraser walked four ASU batters in the fourth, including a two-out bases-loaded walk to Pace that sent home a run and cut the Memphis lead to 6-2.
The Tigers got the run back and more in the bottom of the inning as Memphis plated six runs to extend its lead to 12-2. Shelton, left fielder Trey Weidman, third baseman Jacob Wilson and center fielder Chris Newsome all drove in runs in the inning for the Tigers, with Weidman and Shelton sending home two each. Three Arkansas State errors in the fifth helped Memphis add four more runs to stretch the Tiger lead to 16-2.
The Red Wolves chipped two runs off of the Tiger lead in the seventh when right fielder Derrick Coleman slugged a two-run home run, and Arkansas State scored four times in the eighth to cut the Memphis lead to 16-8. Eller and second baseman Danny Riemenschneider both drove in a run, Brown singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch and Eller came home on a Tiger error to cut the deficit to eight runs.
Brown went 3-for-4 and Coleman was 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead Arkansas State at the plate, while Cole was 3-for-3 with four RBI to lead the Tigers.
Fraser (3-3) picked up the win for Memphis, giving up two runs on five hits, with six strikeouts and four walks in five innings of work. Junior Derek Riley (0-3) took the loss on the mound for the Red Wolves. Riley gave up eight runs (7 earned) in three innings while walking one and striking out two.
The Red Wolves and Tigers will close out the series Wednesday night when the two teams meet in a 6:30 p.m. game at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field. The game is the first of nine consecutive home games for Arkansas State.