TROY, Ala. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Daniel Wright tossed nine innings of shutout baseball, but Troy delivered a walk-off double in the bottom of 10th inning to defeat the Red Wolves 1-0 Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
After nine innings of baseball neither team had managed to score a run, but A-State (24-26, 10-15 SBC) ran itself out of a scoring opportunity in the top of the 10th inning when Tanner Ring was called out for leaving second base on a sacrifice fly attempt by Stuart Levy.
Claude Johnson led off the inning with an infield single and then advanced to second on a throwing error by Troy (36-13, 17-8) third baseman Logan Pierce. Ring came on to pinch run for Johnson and Drew Burks came in to pinch hit, but popped up a sacrifice bunt on the first pitch he saw.
Stuart Levy followed and flied out to deep right field and Ring attempted to tag up on the play, but was called out when Troy appealed to the second base umpire and was called out for leaving the base before the ball was caught in right field to end the inning.
John Koch came in relief of Wright to start the 10th struck out the first batter he faced, but issued a double to right field to Mathew Howard. After another strikeout, Ali Knowles delivered the game winning hit with a double to right field to end the game.
Wright was near perfect in nine innings of work. He gave up just four hits, struck out six and issued two walks. He sat the Trojans down in order five times on the night, including the bottom of the ninth against the heart of the Trojans batting order.
Troy starting pitcher Tanner Hicks was equally as impressive, striking out six and issuing just six hits in 7 2/3 innings of work before giving
Wright gave up a double to lead off the game and then issued a walk, but settled down after that. Austin Baker threw out Tyler Vaughan after Baker misplayed a ball in left field, but Baker was able to throw out the lead runner on a fielder's choice putout.
Wright received more help from his defense in the second inning when Ryan Emery threw out Garrett Pitts when he tried to stretch a single into double. Pitts hit a ball off the wall in right field and Emery played it perfectly and threw a perfect strike to Dustin Jones who was covering second on the play for the out.
Wright retired eight straight after that until he gave up a hit and a walk in the fifth inning, but got Brandon Brown to ground into a double play to end the inning.
ASU had a scoring opportunity in the third inning when Jones and Collin Massanelli reached on a hit and walk with one out, but Baker grounded into a double play to end the scoring threat.
The Red Wolves had another scoring opportunity squashed in the fifth inning. Stuart Levy doubled off the wall in right center field and Jones followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Massanelli struck out swinging to end the inning.
The start time for game two of the series has been moved up to 3 p.m. on Saturday due to the threat of rain in the Troy area on Saturday night.