JONESOBORO, Ark. (ASU) — Arkansas State came back from a one-run deficit twice, but the Missouri State Bears scored four runs in the top of the 11th inning to hand Arkansas State 6-2 loss on Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.
The Red Wolves fell to 10-6 overall on the year, while Missouri State improved to 11-3. It was also ASU's first loss in extra innings this season.
"Give Missouri State credit because they did a wonderful job of competing," ASU head baseball coach Tommy Raffo said. "If you don't play the game right things will catch up to you pretty quick and that is what happened to us tonight."
ASU fell behind 1-0 in the fifth inning when Missouri State plated a run on an RBI double from Spencer Johnson, but ASU tied the score when Dustin Jones drove in Ryan Emery with a sacrifice fly to even the score in the seventh.
The Bears threatened to break the game open in the top of the ninth when they put runners on first and third with two outs, but Jones made an excellent catch a shortstop to end the threat.
Missouri State scored in the top of the tenth to take a 2-1 lead, but the Red Wolves bounced back when Austin Baker led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Claude Johnson followed with a double to center field, but Baker was thrown out trying to score from second. Alex Potts moved Johnson over to third with a fly out to right, and the A-State third baseman scored when Ryan Emery singled to right field to tie the score at 2-2.
The Bears responded with four runs in the top of the 11th inning however, including a three-run home run from Tate Matheny that put Missouri State up 6-2. A-State failed to get a runner on base in the bottom half of the inning as the Bears handed ASU just its third home loss of the season.
Freshman starter Derek Birginske was solid in his first career start for ASU. The Russellville, Ark., native went five innings, gave up just one run on two hits and struck out six, including two in the first inning.
"We are excited about Derek and what he did," Raffo said. "He put balls in the strike zone and it was a very positive outing for him and hopefully we can get him back out there again."
The Red Wolves had multiple opportunities to push across runs on the night. ASU left 11 runners on base, including Logan Uxa in the fourth inning after he reached on walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then stole third base.
Uxa finished the night 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases, which tied a career-high for the senior. Freshman Kevin Fitzpatrick and senior Ryan Emery each had two hits on the night.
ASU will conclude the two-game midweek series with Missouri State on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Tomlinson Stadium.