TROY, AL (ASU) — For the second straight day the Arkansas state baseball team suffered a tough loss in extra innings against the Troy Trojans.
John Koch was called for a balk in the bottom of the 10th inning with the bases loaded as the Trojans defeated the Red Wolves 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Riddle-Pace Field.
A-State (24-27, 10-16 SBC) appeared to have won the game in the top of the ninth inning when Dustin Jones delivered a two-out, bases loaded hit in the top of the ninth inning to give Arkansas State a 3-2 lead, but Troy answered in the bottom half of the frame to send the game to extra innings for the second straight day.
The inning began when Stuart Levy doubled down the right field line and Ryan Roberts followed with a single to advance Levy to third. Kevin Fitzpatrick came on to pinch run for Levy and he scored on Jones' RBI single.
John Koch struck out the first two Troy (37-13, 18-8) batters in the bottom of the ninth inning, but then issued a walk to Clay Holcomb and then gave up a pinch-hit RBI double to Justin Hancock to tie the game at 3-3.
The Red Wolves squandered an opportunity to take the lead back in the top of the 10th when Ryan Emery was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Claude Johnson advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Logan Uxa was intentionally walked, but Fitzpatrick grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Troy answered in the bottom of the 10th for the second straight day when John Koch walked three batters, one of which was intentional, and then was called for a balk with the bases loaded which brought home the winning run for the Trojans.
Cody Woodhouse was outstanding in his third weekend start of the season for A-State. The junior from Mountain Home, Ark., retired the first seven batters he faced and did not give up a hit until the fourth inning. Woodhouse worked around that lead off hit by inducing a double play ball and then struck out Garrett Pitts to get out of the fourth inning.
Roberts delivered ASU's first run of the series with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning. Roberts battled in the at bat, fouling off three pitches before finally connecting on the seventh pitch of the at bat for his second home run of the season.
Jones singled later in the inning for his eighth hit in his last 17 appearances and then stole second for his fifth swiped bag of the year, which is now tied for the team lead. Collin Massanelli followed with an RBI single through the right side to push the lead to 2-0.
The Trojans wasted no time with a response, however, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Woodhouse gave up a single and a walk to start the inning and Pitts followed with an RBI single to cut the Red Wolves lead to 2-1. Holcomb followed with an RBI infield ground out to tie the score. Woodhouse battled back and got a ground out for the second out of the inning and then was lifted for Tanner Ring who also induced a ground out to end the inning.
Woodhouse finished the afternoon with four strikeouts, gave up two runs on three hits and walked just one batter on the afternoon in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Ring was equally impressive in his relief effort. The freshman tossed 2 1/3 innings, gave up just one hit, struck out one and worked out of a two on, 1-out jam in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ring got Holcomb to line out to right field for the second out of the inning and then Matthew Howard was picked off second for the final out of the inning.
Koch pitched out of a bases loaded situation in the eighth inning to preserve the tie for the A-State offense. Koch gave up a single, hit a batter and then issued an intentional walk to Trae Santos to load the bases. Koch then got Josh McDorman to fly out to centerfield to end the inning.
The series will conclude on Sunday with first-pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.