Jonesboro (ASU) - The Arkansas State Red Wolves (5-1) worked an extra inning to earn a 4-3 victory in game one of their double-header against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, then clinched the weekend series victory with an 11-4 win in game two Saturday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
Saturday's two wins, paired with Friday night's 6-5 win in the series opener, gave the Red Wolves the series victory over the Panthers (0-3) in the four-game weekend matchup.
Just as they did in Friday night's series opener, the Red Wolves had to come from behind to earn the win in Saturday's game one. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Wolves used an RBI single from pinch-hitter Josh DeMoney to tie the game at 3-3.
Following a scoreless ninth inning, the Red Wolves got a one-out single in the 10th from third baseman Jordan Castaldo, followed by a single from center fielder Michael Faulkner to put Castaldo in scoring position at second base. Senior Cody Pace came on as a pinch-runner for Castaldo and scored from second to give the Red Wolves the win when shortstop Jordan Kimball reached on a Panther error.
Junior Brad Allen picked up the win on the mound for the Red Wolves in the opener. Allen worked 4.1 innings in relief, surrendering just one hit and no runs while striking out two and walking three. Senior starter Ross Humes struck out five batters in 5.2 innings of action, giving up three runs, just one of which was earned. Humes gave up eight hits and walked two batters.
"The guys battled the whole game, and DeMoney had the clutch hit to tie it up," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "Brad Allen did a tremendous job of keeping the game close, and we had the opportunity to get the win on a two-strike at-bat from Kimball."
Castaldo went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and left fielder Logan Uxa was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead ASU at the plate in game one.
Arkansas State never trailed in game two, getting a solo home run in the opening inning from DeMoney and a pair of runs in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Milwaukee scored twice in the top of the fourth to cut the ASU lead to a single run at 3-2, but Arkansas State answered with a three-run home run from second baseman Giovanni Garcia in the bottom of the inning to stretch its lead to 6-2 and the Panthers did not threaten the rest of the afternoon.
RBI hits from Castaldo and catcher Kyle DeGrace bumped the ASU lead to 8-3 in the fifth. After UWM came home once in the top of the eighth, the Red Wolves completed the scoring in the bottom of the inning when right fielder Todd Baumgartner drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and first baseman Murray Watts delivered a two-run home run to set the final at 11-4.
Working on a pre-determined pitch-count, junior Andres Caceres picked up the win for Arkansas State in game two, striking out five while giving up two runs on five hits and two walks in four innings of work.
Watts went 3-for-5 with two runs driven in, Castaldo and Kimball each went 2-for-4 and Baumgartner was 1-for-2 with three RBIs to lead ASU at the plate in the nightcap.
"We wanted to get the second game going and under control, and Andres did a nice job of that," said Raffo. "You want to score first and get the momentum going, and we were able to do that with DeMoney's home run. Then Gio hit the big three-run homer and that propelled us a little bit. and we kept tacking on runs and kept them from getting in the game."
The Red Wolves and Panthers will wrap up the series Sunday at 1:00 pm