ASU baseball beats Memphis with late-inning heroics

JONESBORO, Ark. ( – Arkansas State was down to its final out in the top of the ninth inning, but Collin Massanelli drove home two runs and Ryan Emery drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th to give ASU a 3-2 victory over Memphis Tuesday night at FedExPark.

Massanelli drove home two runs in the top of the ninth with a two-out, two-run single to right that scored Austin Baker and Ryan Emery to tie the score at 2-2. Emery led off the inning with a walk and Baker followed with a walk after pinch-hitting for Dustin Jones to put the tying runs aboard. Potts then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third to setup Massanelli's game tying hit.

Logan Uxa led off the top of the 10th inning with a double to leftfield and move to third on a bunt from Stuart Levy. Emery then drove Uxa home to give ASU its first lead of the game. Freshman Tanner Ring pitched a scoreless bottom half of the 10th inning to earn his first career save and extend the Red Wolves (4-0) winning streak to four straight.

"I was just trying to be patient and look for something good to hit," Massanelli said of his game-tying hit. "We had been struggling to get that big hit we needed all game and thankfully I was able to come through for my team."

A-State junior right-hander Bradley Wallace gave up just one run on five hits in six innings of work, while Levi Shordon and Seth McWilliams combined to give up one run and three over the four innings, but the A-State offense remained dormant until the ninth inning.

Arkansas State threatened in the top of the third inning when Jones led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Alex Potts. Following a Kaleb Brown walk and Massanelli strike out to put two on with two outs, Zach George singled to left field but Jones was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second to end the A-State scoring threat.

A-State had another opportunity in the top of the fifth inning when Potts singled to left field with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Brown then advanced to third with a single to right, but the Red Wolves failed to push home the run when Massanelli struck out and Zach George popped up to the third baseman to end the inning.

The Red Wolves ran themselves out of an inning in the top of the sixth. Logan Uxa reached on a single and Stuart Levy followed with a swinging bunt, but Levy was called for runner's interference while running down the first base line and Uxa was forced back to first base on the call. Ryan Emery followed with a single to right side, but was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play.

ASU had another scoring chance in the top of the eighth inning when Claude Johnson and Uxa each reached base with a pair of singles, but the Red Wolves again failed to push across any runs.

Memphis took a 1-0 lead after scoring a run in the top of the first inning when Carter White on a groundout to first by Bryce Beeler. The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh when White drove home Ford Wilson on an RBI single to push the Memphis lead to 2-0.

Arkansas State will return the field Wednesday, Feb. 20 for a matchup with Lyon College. First-pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.