ASU baseball set to take on Missouri State - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

ASU baseball set to take on Missouri State

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Arkansas State (10-5) vs Missouri State (10-3)

GAMES 16-17
Dates: March 12-13
First Pitch: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.
Location: Jonesboro, Ark.
Stadium: Tomlinson Stadium (1,200)
Radio: East Arkansas Broadcasters
            95.3 FM The Ticket
            970 AM KNEA
Radio Talent: Matt Stolz

SERIES
ASU vs Mo. St.: 22-36 (ASU Trails)
Raffo Record vs Mo. St: 2-5
Last Meeting: 2012
Current Streak: ASU 2 Losses

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

LEADING OFF: Arkansas State will host Missouri State for two-game midweek series beginning March 12-13. The Red Wolves and Bears have met 58 times since 1964. The teams split a pair of games last season in Springfield, Mo., with ASU winning the first game 5-2, before thet Bears bounced back in the second game for a 12-5 victory. The Red Wolves will start right-handed freshman Derek Birginske on Tuesday, while junior right-hander Cody Woodhouse will take the mound Wednesday afternoon. Birginske will be making the first start of his career. He has three apperances this season and has not given up a run in 2.2 innings of work. Woodhouse will be marking his first start of the season and the 12th of his career. Missouri State will counter with a pair of left-handed freshman. Andy Cheray will take the hill on Tuesday, while Matt Hall will start on Wednesday.

THE TEAMS:  Arkansas State continued its hot start at home by taking two of three games from UAB over the weekend. A-State is now 8-2 at Tomlinson Stadium on the season and will look to capture its ninth and tenth home wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. ASU is 10-5 overall on the year and is 2-1 in midweek games this year.
Missouri State enters the game with a 10-2 overall record and is coming off a three-game sweep of Northwestern. This will be just the second midweek game for the Bears this year and they are 0-1 having lost to Okla. State.

ASU/MISSOURI STATE SERIES HISTORY
• This will be the 59th and 60th meetings all-time between ASU and Missouri State.
• The first meeting occurred during the 1964 season when the Bears were known as Southwest
   Missouri State.
• Since 1990, the schools have met for at least one game every year except for 1998 and 2004.
• Missouri State leads the all-time series record 36-22.
• The teams split a pair of games in Springfield, Mo., in 2012. A-State won the first game 5-2
    before losing 12-5 the following day.

SCOUTING THE BEARS
• The Bears are 10-2 on the season but have played just three road games on the year.
• Missouri State has played just one midweek game on the season, losing 5-4 in 10 innings to
   Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.
• Missouri State has given up an average of 3.3 runs a game this season, while scoring an average
   5.0 runs per game.
• The Bears rank among the nation's leaders in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging 9.2
    strikeouts a game.
• Joey Hawkins is ranked 37th in the nation in triples.
• This will be the first start's of the year for Andy Cheray and Matt Hall.
• Hall has made just two apperances on the year and has not given a hit or a run.
• Cheray has made one apperance and lasted 2/3 of an inning and gave up one run on two hits.

JUST ANOTHER WALK-OFF SINGLE
• Alex Potts lifted A-State to a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning on March 8 to give
   ASU a 2-1 victory over UAB.
• It was the third walk-off single of Pott's career. He recorded two walk-off singles during his
    junior season.
• The first was a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning against UALR on March 17, 2012
   to give ASU a 3-2 win.
• The second was a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth against South Alabama to give ASU
   1-0 on May 6, 2011.

HAWKINS SHINES IN FIRST START
• Sophomore Chandler Hawkins shined in his first start of the season on March 9 against UAB.
•  He pitched a career-high seven innings, faced a career-high 28 batters and allowed just one run
    on seven and tied a career-high with three strikeouts.

BAKER'S HITS EQUAL RUNS
• Freshman outfielder Austin Baker drove in four runs on three hits on Saturday March 9 against
    UAB in a doubleheader.
• Baker drove in a run on every hit he had across both games on the day.

HAWKINS KEEPING EM' DOWN
• Sophomore Chandler Hawins has a league leading 0.57 ERA on the season.
• He has has six apperances on the season, five of which have been in relief.
• He has allowed just one run on nine hits, with 12 strikeouts and just six walks in 15.2 innings.

FITZPATRICK FIRST START
• Freshman Kevin Fitzpatrick made his first career start on March 3.
• The true freshman made a start in left field and batted in the leadoff position. He went 1-for-4
   with two runs scored.
• He recorded his first career RBI on Tuesday, March 5 against UT-Martin.

ASU PERFECT IN EXTRAS
• ASU is 2-0 on the year in extra inning games.
•  Alex Potts helped ASU to a 2-1 victory over UAB on March 8 when he drove in the winning run
    in the bottom of the 11th inning.
• 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.

GETTING THE SHUTOUT
• Arkansas State recorded its first shutout of the season on Tuesday, March 5 against UT-Martin.
    The Red Wolves picked up a 9-0 victory over the Skyhawks and faced just one batter of the
    mininum.
•The last time ASU shutout an opponent was April 13 of last year when A-State picked up a 5-0
   win over Western Kentucky.
• The last time ASU recorded a shutout against a non-conference opponent was against Portland
    in 2010 in a 7-0 victory.
• It was the first shutout for ASU during a midweek game since 2006 when the team defeated
   Murray State 11-0 on a Wednesday (The team also defeated Freed-Hardeman 8-0 on Sun, April
   16 of that year. ASU played Freed-Hardeman in a Sunday-Monday two game series.)

IN THE POLLS
• Arkansas State received votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 poll
    earlier this season.
• Records indicate that the  last time an A-State baseball team was ranked was during the the
    1970 season when Arkansas State finished the season ranked 24th in the nation in the final
    Collegiate Baseball poll.

WALLACE TIES CAREER HIGH
• Junior Bradley Wallace tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 4.2 inning of work on Feb. 26
   against Vanderbilt.
• Wallace is leading the Sun Belt with 24 strikeouts in 16.2 innings pitched this year.
• Wallace has struckout 10 batters looking this season, which leads the SBC.

UXA'S HOT START
• Senior Logan Uxa is tied for seventh in the Sun Belt Conference 22 hits on the year.
• He has had a hit in all but three games this year.

PROTECTING HOME FIELD
• ASU currently has a 8-2 record at home.
• ASU's best start to a season was 10-0 which happened twice. The first time was in 1993 and the
   team matched the performance in 1994.
• ASU has a .291 batting average at home this season and has a 2.35 ERA, compared to just a .240
   batting average and a 5.65 ERA on the road.

COMPARED TO THE NATION
• Alex Potts is tied for the lead in the nation with nine sacrifice bunts on the year.
• As a team, ASU ranks eighth in the nation in sacrifice bunts with 21 on the year.
• The team also ranks fifth in the nation with 97 walks already on the year.
• The team's .986 fielding percentage ranks 7th in the nation.
• Ryan Emery is ranked 7th in the nation, averaging 1.2 walks per game.
• Emery ranks 5th in the nation with 18 walks.

GETTING QUALITY STARTS
• The A-State starting pitching staff has racked up seven quality starts on the year thus far.
• Daniel Wright leads the team with three quality starts, while John Koch has two. Bradley
   Wallace earned a quality start against Memphis and Chandler Hawkins had one against UAB.

MCWILLIAMS SHUTS THEM DOWN
• Senior Seth McWilliams earned two wins in relief action out of the bullpen during the week of
   Feb. 18-24.
• The right-hander threw 2.2 innings of relief against Memphis on Feb. 19 and earned the victory
    in ASU's 3-2 comeback victory.
• McWilliams also earned the victory after pitching 2.1 innings in the Red Wolves 14-6 win over
   Western Illinois on Feb. 24.
• For the week, McWilliams tossed five innings in relief, struck out seven and did not give up a
   run.

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.

KOCH SETS CAREER HIGH
• In his first career start, senior John Koch struck out a career-high 11 batters on Feb. 15.
• Koch pitched five innings, gave up three runs on nine hits to earn his first win as a starter.

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.

OPENING SERIES SWEEP
• ASU recorded a three-game series sweep for the first time since 1971 and for only the second
   time in school history.

GRANTHAM MAKES MOST OF FIRST START
• True freshman Adam Grantham earned his first career win on Feb. 17 in a 12-2 victory over
   Bradley.
• Grantham threw four innings, struck out five and did not allow any runs in his first career start.
• Grantham was a 32nd round draft selection of the Atlanta Braves coming out of high school.

BAKER GOES DEEP
• True freshman Austin Baker hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in his collegiate career on
    Feb. 16
• Baker went 3-for-3 on the day and was a triple from the cycle. He had three RBIs on the day and
   was walked once.

4-K INNING
• Arkansas State senior right-hander John Koch notched a rare four strike out inning in the Red
   Wolves 10-5 victory over Bradley Feb. 15. After Bradley's David Compitello reached on a
   dropped third strike out in the fourth inning with one out, Koch proceeded to strike out two
   more batters to end the inning.

LOOKING BACK AT 2012
• ASU had one of the most succesful seasons in school history, finishing with a 34-23 overall
   record and a 19-9 record in Sun Belt Conference play.
• A-State finished second overall in the SBC and the 34 victories were the most for any team in
   the Sun Belt Conference and the most in head coach Tommy Raffo's four seasons.
• ASU's 34 victories are also the most since winning 35 games in 1997 and the fourth-most in
   school history.

PRESEASON HONORS
• Senior outfielder Logan Uxa and junior shortstop Dustin Jones were named to the Sun Belt
   Conference Preseason All-Conference team.
• Uxa led the Red Wolves with 10 home runs a year ago and drove in a team-high 44 runs. His
  .477 slugging percentage and .434 on-base percentage were each the second highest on the
   team, and he led the Red Wolves with 48 runs scored.
• Jones had a .279 batting average last season including 50 hits, 25 runs scored and seven
   doubles. He had a 10-game hitting and started 55 games at shortstop. In the field, he had a .966
   fielding percentage and committed just eight errors on the year.

EXPERIENCE RETURNING
• Eight starting position players return for the 2012 team. John Koch, ASU's all-time career saves
   leader, will move to the starting rotation this season, while fellow senior Daniel Wright returns
   after posting a 5.14 ERA last season. He had a strong season in the New England Coast Baseball
   League where he helped his team win the NECBL Championship Series after posting a 6-0
   record in the regular season and a 3.92 ERA.

GOING TO THE SHOW
• A-State had three players drafted from last year's squad, led by Jacob Lee who was drafted in
   the ninth round by the Cleveland Indians.
• Lee was the highest player ever drafted from the ASU baseball program.
• Michael Faulkner was taken in the 12th round by Seattle, making him the second highest
   selection ever in program history.
• Brandon Farley was taken in the 33rd round by the San Francisco Giants, while incoming
   freshman Adam Grantham was a 32nd round pick of the Atlanta Braves.

SUN BELT NETWORK TO AIR ASU-UALR GAME
• The Sun Belt Conference has announced that the Arkansas State baseball game against UALR on
   May 18 will be televised by the Sun Belt Network through its partnership with Comcast/Charter
   Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). An official start time for the game will
   be announced at a later date.

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