Jonesboro (ASU) – The Arkansas State baseball team (7-2) had its five-game winning streak snapped with an 8-3 setback against Portland (7-2) Saturday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field as the Pilots were able to even the three-game series at 1-1.
ASU took the early lead when Ryan Emery singled home Todd Baumgartner in the bottom of the first inning, but Portland came right back to score two runs in the second and one in the third to take a 3-1 advantage. ASU got a solo home run from Murray Watts in the bottom of the third to pull within 3-2, but the Pilots scored five more runs over the fifth, sixth and seven innings while Portland starting pitcher Kyle Kraus held ASU scoreless until the seventh inning.
All eight ASU hits came against winning pitcher Kyle Kraus (2-0) over his seven innings of work before Portland relievers Owen Jones and Keeler Brynteson closed out the game for the Pilots. ASU starter Ross Humes dropped to 1-1 on the year, giving up four runs on seven hits over five innings of work.
The Red Wolves were led by Emery with two hits and two RBI, while Watts added an RBI and Baumgartner recorded two hits as well. Portland's Beau Fraser had a big day, going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two RBI.
"You have to give Portland a lot of credit," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "They did a good job pitching both in and out of the strike zone, played well defensively, got some key outs and also did well at the plate. We were unable to get to their pitcher as early as we would have liked and he was able to stay in their for seven innings. Obviously, we have to do a little better job in some of our at-bats, but Portland earned it today."
ASU won the series opener 7-0 on Friday. The two teams will conclude the weekend series Sunday at 1:00 p.m.