ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES
vs. Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks
April 6, 2010 6:00 p.m.
Skyhawk Field (1,000) Martin, Tennessee
April 7, 2010 6:30 p.m.
Tomlinson Stadium & Kell Field (1,200) Jonesboro, Arkansas
Radio: KBTM 1230 AM & AStateRedWolves.com
LiveStats Available at AStateRedWolves.com
LEADING OFF: The Arkansas State Red Wolves square off against the Skyhawks of Tennessee-Martin in a pair of midweek games, beginning with Tuesday's 6:00 p.m. contest at Skyhawk Field in Martin, Tennessee. UTM will make the trip to Jonesboro for Wednesday's game, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field. All ASU games may be heard on KBTM 1230 AM and through the StateZone portion of AStateRedWolves.com. LiveStats may also be accessed by logging on to AStateRedWolves.com.
THE TEAMS: Arkansas State travels to Martin at 18-10 on the season and has won six of its last seven games. The Red Wolves earned a series victory against No. 18 Western Kentucky last weekend when they took two of three games in the series with the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky defeated ASU 4-3 in the Friday series opener, but the Red Wolves bounced back to win 6-4 Saturday before clinching the series with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon. Tennessee-Martin has lost six straight heading into the midweek series against the Red Wolves. The Skyhawks were swept by Murray State last weekend, losing 20-2 and 13-5 in a Friday double-header before closing the series with a 7-5 loss to the Thoroughbreds.
THE UTM SERIES: Arkansas State holds a 30-14-1 advantage in the series. The two teams met just once last year, with UT-Martin taking a 6-2 victory April 21 at Martin. The return game, scheduled for May 6 in Jonesboro, was rained out. In the last meeting in Jonesboro, the Skyhawks defeated ASU 9-8 during the 2008 season. The last ASU victory in the series was a 12-6 victory at Martin during the 2008 season, and the last ASU win in Jonesboro was a 6-1 win during the 2007 season.
ON THE MOUND FOR ASU: Junior right-hander Brad Allen will get the start for the Red Wolves Tuesday in Martin. Allen will be making his third start of the season and his eighth appearance overall. He stands at 4-1 on the season with an ERA of 6.35. In 22.2 innings of work, Allen has given up 17 runs (16 earned) on 26 hits, with 17 strikeouts. He has given up just four free bases on the season, walking two batters and hitting two. In his last start, Allen threw six and one-thirds innings of no-hit baseball, before the Missouri State Bears finally broke through with their first hit in the seventh inning of the Red Wolves' game at Springfield March 17. Allen (3-0) retired 19 of the first 20 batters he faced on the afternoon, striking out six on the day while walking none to earn the win. Wednesday's starter has not yet been determined.
ON DECK: The Red Wolves return to Sun Belt Conference action this weekend when they travel to Monroe, La. for a three-game series with the Warhawks of ULM. Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., Saturday's first pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. and Sunday's game three will get underway at 1:00 p.m.
'TOPPERS SHUT DOWN: Western Kentucky went into last weekend's series averaging 9.5 runs per game, but the Arkansas State pitching staff was solid all weekend, holding the Hilltoppers to just nine runs in the entire series. Arkansas State held the Hilltoppers to a .232 average on the weekend, gave up just three-multi base hits, which were all doubles, and walked only 10 batters. For the weekend, the Red Wolves' pitchers gave up just 23 hits and eight earned runs.
LEE EARNS LEAGUE HONOR: Arkansas State sophomore Jacob Lee was named Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week April 5 for his performance on the mound in the Red Wolves' 3-1 victory over No. 18 Western Kentucky April 4.
Lee, a right-hander from Jonesboro, Ark., struck out eight batters in 6.2 innings to get the win and help ASU earn the series victory in Sunday's decisive game three against the Hilltoppers. Lee held the Hilltoppers, who came into the series averaging 9.5 runs per game, to a single run in the Sunday finale. He surrendered just five hits, all singles, along the way. After giving up three hits and walking in a run in the first three innings, Lee settled in and retired the next 12 batters he faced to put the Red Wolves in position to earn the win. He threw a career-high 122 pitches and held the Hilltoppers to a .222 batting average.
"We are extremely proud of Jacob's achievement last weekend against Western Kentucky," said ASU pitching coach Justin Meccage. "He has worked extremely hard since his arrival at Arkansas State, and he gives us a chance to win each week when he is on the mound."
Lee became a weekend starter for Arkansas State as a true freshman and has posted a 4-2 record during the 2010 season. His ERA of 2.95 ranks second among Arkansas State pitchers, and he leads the team with 40 strikeouts. He has surrendered just 36 hits in 42.2 innings of work this season, with only seven of the hits going for extra bases.