Monroe, LA (ASU) - The Arkansas State Red Wolves (20-11, 10-4) jumped out to a 10-0 lead through the first six innings and went on to defeat the Lousiana-Monroe Warhawks 10-6 Saturday afternoon at Warhawk Field. The win, along with the Red Wolves' 15-3 victory over the Warhawks (12-19, 3-8) Friday night, gave ASU the victory in the three-game Sun Belt Conference weekend series.
Senior Ross Humes (4-1) pitched five and one-thirds innings to get the win, giving up no runs on just one hit, with six strikeouts and one walk.
The Red Wolves took advantage of four straight walks to open the game from ULM starter Drew Granier to put a run on the board when right fielder Todd Baumgartner drew the fourth free pass of the inning to send a run home. Designated hitter Ryan Emery's single to the left field wall later in the inning drove in two more runs for the early 3-0 ASU advantage.
Third baseman Jordan Castaldo extended his team-high hit streak to 21 games with a two-out double to center field that drove in shortstop Jordan Kimball from first to extend the Red Wolves' lead to 4-0 in the second. An RBI single from Baumgartner and a solo home run from first baseman Murray Watts gave A-State a 6-0 cushion in the fifth.
"I credit our offense for jumping on them early," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "We had a two-strike hit from Emery that scored two runs and really got us going. Ross came in and put zeros on the board after we scored four, but we knew four wouldn't be enough, so I am very pleased that we expanded the lead."
The Red Wolves stretched their lead to double-digits with four runs in the sixth. Kimball got the scoring started with an RBI single, second baseman Giovanni Garcia doubled to right field to drive in two more and Baumgartner drove in his third run of the afternoon with a single to make it 10-0, ASU.
The Warhawks answered with five runs in the seventh to cut the A-State lead in half at 10-5. Pinch-hitter Josh Gill drew a bases-loaded walk to put ULM on the scoreboard, and a bases-clearing double from catcher Jarrett Hammond trimmed the Red Wolves' lead to 10-4. An unearned run later in the inning pulled ULM within five before ASU was able to close out the inning.
Center fielder Shane Ardoin plated a run for the Warhawks with a sacrifice fly in the ninth to set the final at 10-6.
Baumgartner and Garcia each went 2-for-4 to lead the Red Wolves at the plate, with Baumgartner driving in three runs and Garcia two. Hammond's one hit and three RBIs led ULM.
Granier (3-3) took the loss on the mound for the Warhawks, giving up eight runs on seven hits, with five walks and six strikeouts in five innings of work.
The Red Wolves will go for the series sweep when the two teams meet Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the series finale.