SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KAIT) – The Arkansas State Red Wolves (10-6) came up on the wrong end of a pitchers' duel, falling 2-1 to Missouri State when the Bears (5-10) punched a run across in the bottom of the eighth in game one of a two-game series Tuesday night at Hammons Field.
Arkansas State starter Andres Caceres struck out seven batters, while giving up just one unearned run in seven innings of work. Caceres surrendered four hits, while walking three Bears on the night. Missouri State's Pierce Johnson also gave up just one run, striking out eight batters while allowing just two hits in six innings on the mound.
Missouri State took advantage of three walks from ASU reliever John Koch in the bottom of the eighth to load the bases with one out, and catcher Brett Marshall's infield single sent home what proved to be the winning run. Koch (1-2) took the loss for the Red Wolves, giving up one run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
After three scoreless innings, both teams took advantage of errors to send home a single run in the fourth. Arkansas State second baseman Giovanni Garcia used a leadoff walk to get aboard in the top of the frame and moved to second on a walk from right fielder Todd Baumgartner. Both runners advanced when designated hitter Ryan Emery reached on an error, and Garcia scored on a single from third baseman Jordan Castaldo.
Missouri State tied the game in the bottom of the inning when left fielder Keenan Maddox doubled to left field, and scored when third baseman Tyler Ryun reached on the Arkansas State error.
Arkansas State put runners in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings, and the Bears threatened in the sixth as well, but neither team was able to score until Marshall's RBI in the bottom of the eighth.
Reliever Blake Barber (1-2) threw two scoreless innings to get the win for Missouri State, striking out one while giving up two hits. Gordon Grant earned the save, striking out two in the final inning without allowing a hit.
Garcia, Baumgartner, Emery and Castaldo had ASU's four hits on the night, while Maddox and Marshall each had two hits to pace Missouri State.
The two teams will wrap up the series Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.