ASU baseball blanks UT-Martin

JONESBORO, Ark ( — The Arkansas State baseball team ended a two-game losing skid with a 9-0 victory over Tennessee-Martin Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.

The Red Wolves (8-4) pitching staff combined to give up just three hit and faced just one batter over the minimum. Bradley Wallace started the game and went three innings, struck out five, allowed just one hit and did not allow the runner to advance past first base.

The Red Wolves then used five relievers who combined to go six innings and gave up just two hits. Morgan Croft made his first appearance of the season in the sixth inning and gave up just one hit, while Cody Woodhouse made his second relief effort on the year and sat the side down in order in the top of the eighth inning. Chandler Hawkins pitched two innings of relief, while Adam Grantham and Derek Birginske each added an inning of relief in the win.

"I think the biggest thing was that are pitchers were down in the strike zone, our hitters were aggressive early in the ball game and we played clean in the field," ASU head coach Tommy Raffo said. "When those three things happen, good things are going to happen for Arkansas State."

The Red Wolves took a 2-0 lead after the second inning and then broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of third inning. Logan Uxa drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single to center field that plated Ryan Emery. Alex Potts followed with a two-RBI double down the right field line that scored Uxa and Claude Johnson to put ASU up 5-0. Collin Massanelli followed with a sacrifice fly to right field and Ethan Yeo rounded out the scoring with a single to center field that scored Ryan Roberts to give ASU a 7-0 lead.

ASU added another in the seventh inning when freshman Kevin Fitzpatrick drove in his first career run on a single to left field that scored Dustin Jones to make the score 8-0. Johnson scored a run in the bottom of the eighth after Kaleb Brown drove him in on a fielder's choice to set the final at 9-0.

A-State scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning after Uxa led off the inning with a double and later scored on a triple by a Massanelli. Massanelli later scored on a passed ball to give the Red Wolves an early 2-0 lead.

The Skyhawks struggled at the plate and did not have a base runner advance past first base the entire night. Sonny Mastromatteo singled in the first inning for UT-Martin, but was thrown out trying to steal and the Skyhawks did not have another hit until the sixth inning.

Uxa finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Johnson went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Potts and Massanelli finished with two RBIs each, while Brown and Yeo each had RBIs.

Wallace earned his second win of the season after striking out five in three innings, while UT-Martin starter John Houston fell to 0-3 on the year.

The Red Wolves will return the field Friday, March 8 for a three-game home series with C-USA opponent Alabama-Birmingham. Friday night's matchup is set to begin at 6 p.m., while Saturday's game will start at 4. The series finale on Sunday is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.