Memphis mauls Red Wolves 15-5 Wednesday night

Memphis (ASU) - The Memphis Tigers broke open a tight game with six runs in the bottom of the fourth and went on to defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 15-5 Wednesday night at FedExPark.

Memphis (17-20) led 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fourth, but by the time the inning was over, the Tigers had already notched 10 hits and taken advantage of an uncharacteristic seven walks from five Arkansas State (22-15) pitchers.  The Arkansas State pitching staff came into the game having issued just 98 walks in 316 innings of work, but finished the evening giving up a season-high 10 free passes.  

Nine pitchers saw action on the mound for Arkansas State, with freshman Daniel Wright (3-3) taking the loss after giving up two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.  The Tigers threw eight pitchers on the night, with sophomore Jonathan Jones (1-1) picking up the win.  Jones worked two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run or a hit.

Memphis struck first with three runs in the second.  Designated hitter Rick Russell walked to lead off the inning for the Tigers, then took advantage of a wild pitch and an ASU throwing error to come home for the first run of the game.  Center fielder Drew Martinez and shortstop Chad Zurcher both came up with two-out RBI singles later in the inning to send home the next two Memphis runs.

Arkansas State tied the game with three runs in the top of the third, getting on the board when third baseman Jordan Castaldo doubled in the Red Wolves' first run of the game.  Right fielder Cody Pace walked, moved to third on Castaldo's double and scored on a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Ryan Emery tied the game at 3-3.

Memphis answered in the bottom of the third when catcher J.D. Wallace singled in two runs to put the Tigers back on top at 5-3.  Arkansas State got one of the runs back in the fourth when Pace sent an RBI single into right-center field, but the Tigers answered again with six runs in the bottom of the inning.

Zurcher walked and eventually scored on the second ASU throwing error of the night, first baseman Trey Wiedman drove in a run with a sacrifice to right field, and an RBI double from second baseman Adam McClain sent home the Tigers third run in the fourth.  A run-scoring single from Wallace and a two-run triple from Martinez gave Memphis an 11-4 advantage before the Red Wolves were able to get out of the inning.

Memphis added four runs in the fifth and Arkansas State scored once in the sixth to set the final at 15-5.

Pace was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead ASU at the plate, while Martinez went 4-for-6 with four RBIs to lead the Tigers.

Arkansas State will return to action this weekend when the Red Wolves host South Alabama in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series that begins Friday at 6:00 p.m.