Faulkner ties stolen base record in ASU loss to Missouri State

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Arkansas State junior Michael Faulkner tied a school record with four stolen bases, but the Missouri State Bears picked up their second victory in as many days over the Red Wolves, winning 12-5 Wednesday afternoon at Hammons Field.  Missouri State defeated ASU 5-2 Tuesday night to open the midweek series.

Faulkner picked up his first stolen base after a first-inning single.  The second followed up a second-inning single, and the final two came when he stole second and third after a base hit in the seventh.  Faulkner went into the week ranked third nationally in total stolen bases and fourth in stolen bases per game at .81, and is now just three short of the ASU season record of 29stolen bases set by Jerome Miller in 1978.

Arkansas State kept pace with the Bears in the first two innings, but Missouri Statebroke a 2-2 tie with a two runs in the third and expanded its lead the rest of the way.

The Red Wolves notched a run in the first inning when Faulkner led off the game with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Ryan Emery.

Missouri State answered in the bottom of the first with a run on an RBI single from first baseman Luke Voit, before ASU reclaimed the lead with a run in the second.  Third baseman Claude Johnson led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from first baseman Brandon Milhouse and scored on a bunt single from second baseman Alex Potts.  The Bears pulled even at 2-2 in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly from catcher Brett Marshall that scored shortstop Eric Cheray, who tripled to get into scoring position.

Missouri State took advantage of two bases-loaded walks in the third to go on top 4-2, then tacked on three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run double from right fielder Trey Massenberg, to make it 7-2.

Left fielder Logan Uxa drew a leadoff walk for the Red Wolves in the sixth and scored on a base hit by first baseman Daniel Short, and Johnson singled andscored on a wild pitch later in the inning to cut the MSU lead to 7-4.  The Bears matched the ASU effort in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice to go up 9-4.  An RBI groundout from left fielder Keenen Maddox sent home the first run, and a run-scoring single by Cheray drove in the second run of the inning for Missouri State.

The Bears added three in the seventh, and ASU right fielder Kaleb Brown drove in a run in the ninth when he reached on a fielder's choice to set the final at 12-5.

Freshman Levi Shordon (1-1) took the loss on the mound for the Red Wolves, working 2.2 innings on the afternoon.  Shordon gave up four runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking two.  Sophomore Jake Powers (1-0) went six innings to pick up the win for the Bears, striking out nine and walking two, while giving up four runs on eight hits.

Faulkner went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead ASU, while Massenberg was 4-for-5 to paceMissouri State.

The Red Wolves will now return to Jonesboro for seven consecutive home games, beginning with an April 6-8 three-game, Sun Belt Conference series with Louisiana-Monroe.  The series will get underway Friday at 6:00 p.m.  Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., and Sunday's game three is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.


-        Center fielder Michael Faulkner picked up his 23rd stolen base of the season when he stole second in the first inning, then added his 24th after singling in the second.  He made it 26 on the season when he stole two more in the seventh.  Faulkner came into the game ranked third nationally in total stolen bases and fourth in stolen bases per game (.81).  He has not been caught stealing on the year.  The ASU single-season stolen base record is 29, set by Jerome Miller in 1978.

-        Faulkner's four stolen bases in the game ties the school record set on three other occasions.  John David Pattillo stole four against Delta State in 1988 and Kevin Maloney accomplished the feat twice.  Maloney stole four against Harding in 1983 and against Christian Brothers in 1981.

-        Left fielder Logan Uxa is the only Red Wolf to start all 29 games on the season.

-        Today's game against Missouri State was Raffo's 200th game as head coach at ASU.