A-State baseball set for SBC Tournament opener - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

A-State baseball set for SBC Tournament opener

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GAME 56
Date: May 22, 2013
First Pitch: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Lafayette, La.
Stadium: M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field (3,755)
Radio: East Arkansas Broadcasters
            95.3 FM The Ticket
            970 AM KNEA
Radio Talent: Matt Stolz

SERIES
ASU vs Troy: 5-23 (ASU Trails)
Raffo Record vs Troy: 5-14
SBC Tourney Record vs Troy: 1-3
Last Meeting: May 10-12, 2013
Current Streak: ASU 1 Wins

MULTIMEDIA
Online Audio: AStateRedWolves.com
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com
Live Streaming: SunBeltSports.org
LEADING OFF: Arkansas State is making is fourth straight apperance in the Sun Belt Conference after securing a spot on the final weekend of the series. A-State took a game from in-state rival UALR and benefited from a Western Kentucky sweep over Middle Tennessee to secure its spot in the annual postseason tournament. The Red Wolves finished the regular season with 26-29 overall record and a 12-18 record in league play. A-State has had recent success in the SBC Tourney, advancing to the championship game last season after a 2-1 record in pool play. A-State also went 2-1 in pool play in 2011 but did advance out of their pool. The Red Wolves have an 18-32 mark all-time in the conference tournament and are making their fourth apperance under head coach Tommy Raffo.

THE STARTERS: Arkansas State will start senior right-hander Daniel Wright on Wednesday. Daniel is 6-4 on the season with a 3.17 ERA and 93 strikeouts. His strikeout total ranks second in the league and his earned run average is fourth best in the league. Daniel has retired the side in order in nine of his last 18 innings and has gone at least seven innings in last eight starts. He also has eight quality starts on the year, the most of any pitcher on the Red Wolves' staff.
Troy has not announced a starter for Wednesday's game.

ASU/TROY SERIES HISTORY
• This will be the the 29th meeting all-time between the two schools with Troy holding a 23-5
   all-time advantage.
• ASU lost two of three games against Troy back on May 10-12, but did hold the Trojans to just
   five runs in both losses. At the the time, the Trojans had the No. 3 offense in the nation.
• ASU is 1-3 all-time against the Trojans in the SBC Tournament.
• A-State lost the first 12 games it ever played against the Trojans before breaking through for its
   first win in 2010.
• ASU took 2-of-3 games from the Trojans in Troy last season, but did lose to the squad in the SBC
   Tournament.
• Senior right-hander Daniel Wright held Troy scoreless through nine innings in his last start
   against the Trojans.
• In the final game of the regular season series on May 12, the teams combined to score 29 runs
    with ASU winning 15-14.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS
• Troy won a share of the SBC regular-season title, finishing in a tie for first place with South
    Alabama.
• The Trojans averaged 7.5 runs per game this season and 6.5  runs in league games.
• Troy ranks first in the nation in doubles with 138 on the season.
• Tyler Vaughan is the second toughest strikeout in the nation, doing so once in every 25 at bats.
• The Trojan .470 slugging percentage is the sixth best in the nation.
• Troy ranks seventh in the nation scoring entering the game.

ASU IN THE SBC TOURNEY
• ASU is making its fourth consecutive trip to the SBC Tourney.
• The Red Wolves advanced to the championship of the tournament after last season.
•Arkansas State is 18-32 all-time in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but the Red Wolves
   have enjoyed success in the last three years.
• The Red Wolves went 2-1 in pool play last season and reached the championship game against
   ULM.
• Arkansas State won two games to reach the semifinals following the 2010 season, and  went 2-
   1 in 2011, but did not advance out of pool play.
• Arkansas State has advanced to the championship game of the tournament three times.  The
    Red Wolves defeated Lamar 3-2 to win the tournament in 1994 and advance to the NCAA
    Central Regional in Austin, Texas.  Arkansas State went 2-2 in the regional, losing to host Texas
    in the opening round 9-4, before defeating Nevada 4-2 and Texas-San Antonio 10-5.  Arkansas
    State was eliminated with a 10-3 loss to eventual national champion Oklahoma.
• ASU was defeated by South Alabama 11-6 in the champioship game in 1996.
• In 2012 A-State fell to ULM 4-2 in the championship game.
• Arkansas State is 2-3 in extra inning games in the tournament, defeating Lamar 3-2 in 11 innings
    and UNO 9-8 in 11 innings, both in 1994. The Red Wolves lost 13-10 in 10 innings to FIU in
    2011, 12-8 in 11 innings to Troy in 2010 and to Lamar 4-3 in 13 innings in 1998.

RETIRING THE SIDE IN ORDER
• Daniel Wright has retired the side in order in nine of his last 18 innings on the mound.
• He earned his second complete game victory of the year by defeating UALR 3-2 on May 16.

EMERY EYES RBI RECORD
• Senior Ryan Emery is closing in on the all-time career runs batted in mark at ASU.
• Emery has 132 RBIs in his career and is 7 away from tying the record, which was set by Todd
   Baumgartner with 139 between 2008-11.

NEW SCHOOL LEADER IN CAREER WALKS
• Ryan Emery has shattered  the school record for walks in a career.
• Emery has 139 walks in his career and passed Jerome Stone who had 109 in his career from
   1980-83.
• Logan Uxa has surpassed the mark as well. The senior has totaled 124 walks in his career.

WRIGHT GOING DEEP INTO GAMES
• Senior Daniel Wright has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last eight starts this
   season.
• He has gone at least seven innings in 11 out of 14 games this year and has 8 quality starts.

WINNING A WILD ONE
• Arkansas State scored 15 runs against Troy on May 19 and narrowly escaped with a 15-14 win.
• The Red Wolves scored 15 runs on 15 hits, which were both season highs for A-State.
• Freshman David Owen sat down Troy in order in the 9th inning in his fifth inning of work in the
   win.

TAMING TROY
• The Arkansas State pitching staff held Troy to just five runs through two games of its series on
   May 17-18.
• Troy entered the game No. 3 in the country in scoring, but Daniel Wright held the Trojans
    scoreless through 9 innings on Friday and then ASU gave up just four runs on Saturday before
    both teams exploded for a combined 29 runs on Sunday.

HONORING THE SENIORS
• ASU will honor its 10 senior baseball student-athletes before the start of Saturday's finale
   against UALR.
• Jacob Bax, Drew Burks, Ryan Emery, John Koch, Seth McWilliams, Brandon Milhouse, Alex Potts,
   Ryan Roberts, Logan Uxa and Daniel Wright will all be honored in a ceremony before Saturday's
   game.

HOME SWEET HOME
• The Red Wolves are returning to play the first home game since April 30 when they hosted
   UALR May 16-18.
• A-State recently embarked on a seven-game road trip in which they spent 10 out of 11 days on
   the road.
• ASU played in Lafayette, La. for a three game series May 3-5 and then played at the University
   of Tennessee on May 8 during the midweek. The Red Wolves then drove from Knoxville to Troy,
   Ala., for a three-game road series versus the Trojans.
• In all, ASU traveled over 2,200 miles, spent over 45 hours on a bus and stayed in six different
   hotels.

FITZPATRICK STEALS THE WEEKEND
• ASU freshman Kevin Fitzpatrick went 3-for-4 on steal attempts at Louisiana-Lafayette May 3-5.
• He stole one base on Saturday and then added two more on Sunday, one of which led to an
   errant that allowed him to score from third.

UXA'S CONSECUTIVE STARTS STREAK
• ASU senior Logan Uxa has started in 112 straight games dating back to his junior season.
• He has started every game since the start of his junior season, with his last none start coming in
   the final game of his sophomore campaign.


FRESHMAN PITCHERS HOLD TIGERS SCORELESS
• Freshman pitchers Adam Grantham and David Owen combined to hold Memphis scoreless for
   five straight innings of relief on April 30.
• The pair combined to strikeout six and give up just four hits over the game's final five innings.

WRIGHT EYEING SINGLE SEASON STRIKEOUT
• Senior pitcher Daniel Wright has struck out 93 batters on the year and is closing in on the single
    season mark for strikeouts at ASU.
• Aubrey Gatewood holds the single season record for strikeouts at 117, which was set in 1959.

MASSANELLI GOES FOR FIVE
• Sophomore outfielder Collin Massanelli went 5-for-6 against Middle Tennessee on April 28 in
    game one of a doubleheader.
• He was just one hit away from tying the school record for hits in a game with six.
• He had a hit in his first five at bats of the game.

TAKING A LEAD AFTER 8
• A-State is a perfect 20-0 on the season when leading after 8 innings this season.
• The team is also 19-1 when it has a lead after 7 innings and 18-3 when leading after 6 innings.

NINE RUNS ON THREE HITS
• A-State accomplished a rare feat on April 28 by scoring nine runs on just three hits in a victory
    over Middle Tennessee.
• The Red Wolves scored runs on a variety of ways in the inning, including three bases loaded
    walks, a hit batsman with the bases loaded, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball and a
    single.

ALL NIGHT TO THINK ABOUT IT
• Junior Dustin Jones had a little over 17 hours to think about his at bat with the bases loaded in
    the bottom of the second back on April 26-27.
• A-State and Middle Tennessee's game on April 26 was suspended in the bottom of the second
    inning with bases full of Red Wolves due to inclement weather. Dustin Jones was at the plate
    when the suspension occurred and when play resumed 17 hours later the next day he cleared
    the bases with first triple of his career.

HIGH ATTENDANCE MARKS
• ASU played before  a crowd of 1,006 people on April 23 against Ole Miss at Tomlinson Stadium.
• It was the second largest crowd at Kell Field since 2003. The Red Wolves played before a crowd
   of 1,019 in 2008 against Memphis.
•  It was only the second time since 2003 that ASU had a home crowd of 1,000 people.

BAKER AND UXA TIE SCHOOL WALKS RECORD
• Freshman Austin Baker tied the school record for walks in a game with four on April 19 at ULM.
• It came just two days after senior Logan Uxa was walked four times on April 16 at SEMO.
• The feat has been accomplished 12 other times, with Murray Watts drawing the last four-walk
    game against Western Kentucky in 2009.

THREE RUNS ON NO HITS
• A-State scored three runs in the top of the 7th inning against ULM on April 19, but did so with
   collecting a hit in the inning.
• Tanner Ring drove in a run after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
• Kaleb Brown drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
• Dustin Jones scored on a wild pitch.

DRIVING IN RUNS THE HARD WAY
• Three Arkansas State players drove in three runs by being hit by a pitch in the April 19 contest
    at ULM.
• Tanner Ring, Alex Potts and Dustin Jones were all hit with the bases loaded to drive in runs on
    the night.

HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATES TIE CAREER HIGHS
• High School teammates Dustin Jones and Kaleb Brown each tied career highs in hits at ULM.
• Brown tied a career-high with three hits against ULM on April 19.
• Jones also tied a career-high with three hits the following day on April 20.

RING GETS A WIN AND A HOMER
• Tanner Ring had one of the best games of his young career on April 16 at SEMO.
• The true freshman belted his first collegiate home run in the top of the first inning and then
    pitched the final three innings of the extra-innings affair to earn the win.
• Ring also had a season team-high seven at bats against SEMO.

LEVY GOES DEEP...TWICE
• Sophomore catcher Stuart Levy belted two home runs against South Alabama on April 13.
• It was just the third and fourth home runs of his career.

WRIGHT GOES SCORELESS  
• Daniel Wright pitched 14 2/3 straight innings without surrendering a run.
• The streak spanned across three games and lasted 14 1/3 innings before he finally gave up a
    run.
• It began in the fourth inning on March 29 at FIU and ended in the first inning on April 12 against
   South Alabama.

WALLACE DOMINATES AGAINST HILLTOPPERS   
• Bradley Wallace had the best start of his career against Western Kentucky on April 7.
• The junior struck out a career-high 12 and retired 18 straight batters after issuing a leadoff
    single to start the game.
• His seven innings pitched was also a career-high.

WRIGHT EARNS PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS
• Senior Daniel Wright earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on April 8 for his
   performance from the previous week.
• Wright was also named as the College Sports Madness SBC Pitcher of the Week..
• The senior right-hander enjoyed one of the best pitching weeks of his career by earning his first
    save since 2011 and a his first complete-game shutout victory.
• In the shutout victory, Wright struck out a career-high 11 batters and yielded just five hits. He
    also did not allow runner past second base after the first inning and retired 12 straight at one
    point.
• He picked up his first save since 2011 on April 2 when he pitched a perfect ninth inning against
    SEMO.

STREAKING FOR HITS
• Ryan Roberts had his 13 game hitting streak come to an end on April 12.
• It was the longest streak of the season and tied for the seventh longest in school history.

ROCKIN' ROBERTS
• Roberts had a career-high four hits and two doubles against FAU on March 24. He also had a
   career best six total bases in the game.

FITZPATRICK NEARLY CYCLES
• Kevin Fitzpatrick was a home run away from recording his first career cycle April 2 vs SEMO.
• The freshman went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two run scored on the night.
• He had a triple in the first inning, a single in the third and double in the fifth. He also reached
   on a fielder's choice in the seventh and later came around to score the go-ahead run.

CHASING NCAA RECORDS
• Alex Potts has amassed  21 sacrifice bunts on the season and is just 13 away from tying the
   all-time NCAA record of 34, which was set by Ben Orloff of UC Irvine in 2007 (65 games).

FRESHMAN STARTERS ON THE MOUND
• A-State has had a freshman pitcher start a game seven times this season and the Red Wolves
   have a 3-4 record in those games.
• A-State owns a 2-2 record in games in which Adam Grantham has started this season and is 0-2
   in games in which Derek Birginske has started.

FIGHTING AGAINST TIME
• ASU and FIU nearly accomplished something rarely seen in baseball on Sunday, a tie.
• Due to the Sun Belt Conference get away rule, no inning could start after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday,
    March 30 of ASU and FIU's series finale. The game went into the 11th inning with the final
    inning starting at 2:22 p.m.
• Had the score been tied at the conclusion of the inning the game would have ended in a tie.
• ASU and FIU did tie in the 2011 season, which was only the second tie in ASU history.

SEC ROAD WIN
• A-State's 10-3 victory at Missouri on Match 19 was its first road victory versus and SEC school
   since 2008. The last road victory was a 7-5 victory over then No. 2 Ole Miss.

POTTS MAKING HISTORY
• Second basemen Alex Potts is now the all-time record in sacrifices in a single season in
   ASU history with 21.
• Potts passed Dean Roberts on March 19 against Missouri with his 13th sacrifice of the season.
• Potts had already passed Jordan Kimball for most sacrifice bunts in a season. Kimball had 11 in 2009.

MR. CLUTCH 
• Alex Potts delivered the fourth walk-off hit of his career with a solo home run on March 23 that
   gave A-State a 3-2 victory over FAU.
• It was his second walk-off hit this season after he had a single in the bottom of the 11th inning
   on March 8 to give ASU a 2-1 victory over UAB.
• 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.

SPLITTING DOUBLEHEADERS
• ASU has played in five doubleheaders this season and has earned a split in each one.
• Only one of the twin bills has been scheduled, with the other three coming because of weather.

UXA SETS NEW SINGLE SEASON HIGH IN DOUBLES
• Senior first basemen Logan Uxa has already set a career-high for doubles in a season.
• Uxa's previous career high was seven doubles, which he did in 2011 and 2012. He had his
    eighth and ninth doubles against Missouri on March 19.

WOODHOUSE SETS NEW HIGH IN STRIKEOUTS 
• Junior Cody Woodhouse set a new career-high with seven strikeouts against Missouri on March
   19.

THREE TIMES AS NICE
• Sophomore center fielder Collin Massanelli tied the school record for most home runs in a
   game by hitting three against UALR on March 16.
• Massanelli is just the third player in school history to hit three home runs in a game. Kevin Kull
   Jr. hit three at UALR in 2005 and Randy Sugg accomplished the feat against Austin Peay in 1998.
• Massanelli hit a solo home run in the first inning and then had a 2-run blast in the eighth inning
   that hit off a light pole in right-center field. His third home run came in the top of the ninth and
   tied the game at 7-7 after ASU rallied from six runs down over the final two innings.
• He also tied the school record for most total bases in a game with 13 on March 16.

TURNING THE TRIPLE PLAY
• ASU turned a 1-5-4-3 triple play in its 6-3 victory over UALR on March 15.
• The triple play occurred when Bryson Thionnet tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but instead
   popped the attempt up in front of Seth McWilliams. The senior right-hander let the bunt
   attempt fall in front of him and quickly threw over to third base to get the force out. A-State
   third basemen Claude Johnson then threw to second base to get the force at that base after
   Blake Johnson did not run on the play. ASU second basemen Alex Potts then threw to first base
   for the final out after Thionnet never touched first because it was occupied by a UALR player.
• It was the first triple play turned by ASU under the Tommy Raffo era.

DOMINATING THE TROJANS
• ASU extended its winning streak to 12 straight over UALR with a three game sweep over the
   Trojans on the opening weekend of SBC play.
• ASU has swept UALR in four straight series and has not lost to the school since 2011.

UNEARNED RUNS
• Arkansas State and Missouri State combined to score eight unearned runs in ASU's 7-5 victory
   over the Bears on March 13.


UXA DOES IT ALL
• Logan Uxa enjoyed one of his best two-game stretches on the base paths against Missouri State
   March 12-13.
• Uxa tied a career high with two stolen bases on March 12 and the notched just the third triple
  of his career on March 13.

A MIDWEEK OF FIRSTS
• Freshman Derek Birginske made his first career state on March 12 against Missouri State. He gave up just one run on five hits and struck out six,
   but did not factor into the decision.
• Freshman Adam Grantham earned his first career save on March 13 against Missouri State when he pitched the final two innings in relief in a 7-5
   victory.

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.

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.

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 1970 season when Arkansas State finished the season
   ranked 24th in the nation in the final Collegiate Baseball poll.

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.

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.

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.

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