ULM shuts out Red Wolves, even series at 1-1

JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) — Louisiana-Monroe jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead, and starter Randy Zeigler threw eight and one-third shutout innings to lead the Warhawks to a 9-0 win over the Arkansas State Red Wolves Saturday afternoon in Sun Belt Conference baseball action at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.

With the win, the Warhawks evened the Sun Belt Conference weekend series at 1-1 after Arkansas State opened the series with a 7-6 victory Friday night.  The Red Wolves slipped to 18-14 overall and 8-3 in SBC action following Saturday's loss, while ULM improved to 15-15 on the year and 3-8 in league play.

Zeigler (3-4) struck out six batters on the day, walked four and gave up six hits while throwing 127 pitches.

"Zeigler was outstanding today," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo.  "They put up a four-spot very quickly on us, and we were behind the eight-ball.  He set the tempo on the mound for them and did a wonderful job against our hitters.  They were able to expand the lead in the sixth and eighth, and basically, that was it.

Arkansas State helped the Warhawks' cause in the opening inning with an error and a walked-in run.  RBIs from right fielder Taylor Abdalla, center fielder Brandon Alexander and designated hitter Corben Green plated the remaining three runs to hand the Red Wolves the early 4-0 deficit.

A three-run home run from first baseman Joey Rapp highlighted a four-run sixth inning for ULM, and an RBI single from third baseman Judd Edwards in the eighth sent home the ninth and final run of the game.

Junior Daniel Wright (1-3) took the loss on the mound for ASU, giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits in four innings of action.  Wright walked four and struck out two.

Designated hitter Daniel Short went 2-for-3 to lead ASU at the plate, while Green and second baseman Caleb Clowers were 3-for-5 to pace ULM.  The Warhawks out-hit the Red Wolves 12-6 on the day.

The Red Wolves and Warhawks will decide the series at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.