ASU baseball hosts Western Illinois in weekend series - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

ASU baseball hosts Western Illinois in weekend series

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Arkansas State (4-0) vs Western Illinois (1-2)

GAMES 5-7
Dates: Feb. 23-24
First Pitch: Saturday: 1 p.m.
                    Saturday (Game 2): After conclusion of Game 1
Sunday: 1 p.m.
Location: Jonesboro, Ark.
Stadium: Tomlinson Stadium(1,200)
Radio: East Arkansas Broadcasters
           101.3 FM/1230 KBTM (Sat.)
            95.3 FM The Ticket (Sun.)
            970 AM KNEA (Sun.)
Radio Talent: Matt Stolz (Sat. Game 1)
                      Mickey Ryan (Sat. Game 2)
                      Matt Stolz (Sunday)

SERIES
ASU vs W. Illinois 5-4 (ASU Trails)
Raffo Record vs W. Illinois : 0-0

MULTIMEDIA
Online Audio: AStateRedWolves.com
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com
                   TapStats

LEADING OFF: Arkansas State will play a three-game series with Western Illinois beginning Saturday, Feb. 23 at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field. Saturday is the Red Wolves' only scheduled doubleheader this season, while Western Illinois is making its second of three straight trips to the Natural State. A-State went 1-0 during the midweek, defeating Memphis 3-2 and had its second midweek game against Lyon College postponed due to inclement weather. Western Illinois did not play during the midweek.

THE TEAMS: Arkansas State is riding a four game winning streak entering Saturday's game. The Red Wolves began the season with a three-game sweep of Bradley and then used extra innings to defeat regional rival Memphis 3-2 at FedExPark. The ASU pitching staff has combined to strikeout 46 batters through its first four games, while only giving up 10 runs thus far.  The Red Wolves are off to one of the best start's in school history. The best start was in the 1997 season when the team won nine straight games to start the year. Offensively ASU has scored 35 runs through its first four games and had a .336 team batting average.
Western Illinois enters the game with a 1-2 record, having recently defeated Arkansas 7-5 on Feb. 17. The Leathernecks enter the game with a.211 batting average and 7.56 team ERA. The Leathernecks were picked to finish fourth in the Summit League Preseason Poll.

ASU/WESTERN ILLINOIS SERIES HISTORY
• Western Illinois leads the all-time series 5-4, but A-State won the last meeting between the two schools 6-1 in 1996.
• This will be the first matchup between the two schools since 1996 and the first three-game series since 1978.
• The series dates back to the 1957 season.

SCOUTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks are 2-1 on the season after their opening weekend with Arkansas.
• Western Illinois captured a 2-1 victory over Arkansas on Sunday to give first-year head coach Ryan Brownlee his first career victory.
•Jameson Henning is the team's leading hitter with a .333 batting average and .417 slugging percenate on the year.
• Brent Turner and Steve Kedroski lead the squad with two RBIs each, while Dan Dispensa has the team's only home run.
• The Leathernecks are making three consecutive trips to the Natural State. The team opened this season with a trip to Arkansas and is taking on the Red Wolves in Jonesboro this weekend. Western Illinois will return to the state next weekend to play Arkansas-Little Rock.

EXTRA-INNING HEROICS
• The Red Wolves were down to their last out, but rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Memphis 3-2 on Feb. 19.
• Collin Massanelli drove in two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
• Ryan Emery followed with a game winning RBI single in the top of the 10th inning and Tanner Ring closed out the game in the bottom of the 10th to give A-State the win.

RING GETS FIRST SAVE
• Freshman Tanner Ring picked up his first career save at Memphis on Feb. 19.
• Ring entered the game in bottom of the ninth inning as a defensive replacement at second base and then moved to the mound in the bottom of the 10th inning.

UNDEFEATED THUS FAR
• Arkansas State has won its first four games to start the season.
• The best start in school history is 9-0, which was accomplished in 1997.
• In 1994 ASU started 8-0, while the 1961 team began the season with a 6-0 record. In 1971 A-State started the season 5-0 before losing its first game.

PITCHING STAFF SHINES
• The A-State pitching staff recorded a school record 19 strike outs in the 10-5 victory over Bradley on Opening night on Feb. 15.
• The previous record was 18 strikeouts, which ASU did twice. The first was in 1995 against Memphis and the second was against Kansas State in 1960.
• On opening weekend, A-State recorded 37 strikeouts and allowed just eight runs and walked 7 batters in 27 innings.

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