Troy, AL (ASU) - Arkansas State right fielder Todd Baumgartner's RBI single in the top of the ninth broke a 4-4 tie, and pitchers Andy Ferguson and Ross Humes wrapped up the game in the bottom of the frame to give the Red Wolves (27-22, 15-10) a 5-4 win over the Troy Trojans (27-22, 12-13) Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
Ferguson worked eight and one-thirds innings, striking out nine to tie his career high, and Humes earned his first save after retiring the final two batters to seal the win. With the victory, Arkansas State notched its first win over the Trojans in 13 tries and took a 1-0 lead in the Sun Belt Conference weekend series between the two teams.
"I thought Andy and Ross pitched extremely well tonight," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "I am proud of our guys offensively. Jordan Kimball got the leadoff single in the ninth and Baumgartner clutched up and got the big hit to drive him in."
"I'm proud of the way the guys battled and of what they did tonight," added Raffo. "They overcame and did something that had not been done in four years against Troy, and now we have the chance to get the series tomorrow."
Troy took a 2-0 lead in the third when right fielder Steven Felix drove in a run with an RBI triple before coming home on a double steal.
The Red Wolves answered with four runs in the fifth, with all of the damage coming on one swing of the bat when first baseman Murray Watts launched a grand slam over the 30-foot wall in right field for the 4-2 ASU advantage.
Troy evened the score in the bottom of the inning, getting an RBI double from center fielder Chad Watson and an RBI on a ground-out from shortstop Adam Bryant, and the 4-4 tie held until Baumgartner's game-winner in the ninth.
Kimball and second baseman Giovanni Garcia each went 2-for-4 to lead Arkansas State, with Watts adding a hit and four RBIs, and Baumgartner notching one hit and one RBI.
Bryant and Felix each had two hits and an RBI to lead the Trojans.
Ferguson gave up four runs on eight hits while walking just one batter to improve to 4-3 on the season. Chase Whitley (5-3) took the loss for Troy, giving up one run on three hits in two and two-thirds innings. Whitley struck out one batter and walked one.
The Red Wolves will go for the series victory when the series resumes Saturday at 6:00 p.m.