JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas State Red Wolves (16-9) scored a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 5-4 Memphis lead and went on to defeat the Tigers 6-5 Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
Arkansas State led 4-1 after three innings, before the Tigers (11-14) scored once in the fourth and three times in the fifth to go up 5-4. With two outs on the board, shortstop Jordan Kimball singled up the middle to send home the tying run, and a double down the left field line from second baseman Giovanni Garcia drove in what proved to be the winning run.
"It's hard to come out on a Tuesday after a day off," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "We scored a couple of runs in the first inning and that helped get us going. Obviously, the fifth was a big inning for Memphis. We had to fight from behind, got clutch hits from Kimball and Garcia, and I'm pleased with the way we came back tonight."
With ASU leading 6-5 after seven innings of play, freshman John Koch went to the mound and retired all six Tigers he faced, striking out three, to earn his second save of the season. Junior Brad Allen worked one and two-thirds innings in relief to pick up the win and improve to 4-1 on the season. Allen gave up no runs on one hit with a pair of strikeouts and no walks.
Juniors Todd Baumgartner and Murray Watts each drove in a run in the opening inning to give the Red Wolves an early 2-0 lead. Memphis answered with a run in the top of the second before a two-out, two-run single from designated hitter Ryan Emery gave Arkansas State a 4-1 lead in the third.
First baseman Trey Wiedman drove in a run in the fourth for the Tigers, and Memphis used an RBI single from left fielder Tyler Huelsing and a two-run hit from third baseman Rick Russell to go on top 5-4 in the fifth.
Junior Dane Sharp gave up the two ASU runs in the sixth to take the loss for the Tigers and fall to 0-2 on the season. Sharp gave up the two runs on two hits and a walk in two and two-thirds innings of work, recording one strikeout along the way.
Emery went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs, while Garcia was 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead ASU at the plate. Russell was 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Memphis.
Arkansas State, which picked up its fourth consecutive victory with the win over Memphis, will be back in action this weekend when it hosts 18th-ranked Western Kentucky in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series. Friday's game one is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. Arkansas State sits in a tie for third place in the conference standings at 6-3, while the Hilltoppers lead the league at 6-0 in SBC action.