May 24, 2013 at 11:24 PM CDT - Updated June 30 at 11:45 PM
LAFAYETTE, La. (SunBeltSports.org) – Eighth-seeded Arkansas State kept its season going with a 3-2 victory over top-seeded Troy on Friday in an elimination game at the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
ASU (28-30) trailed 2-1 in the sixth inning when it rallied for two runs. Stuart Levy led off with a double to left-center and advanced to third on a single by Ryan Roberts. After Uxa was hit by a pitch, Birginske hit into a 6-4-3 double play which scored Levy. Collin Massanelli followed with the go-ahead RBI single to left field to score Roberts from third and give ASU a 3-2 advantage.
"I just wanted to see one pitch for a strike and then swing on it and drive it to get the runner in from third. We had to battle through adversity today. Both teams played well but we brought it a little more," said Massanelli, a sophomore from Pine Bluff, Ark. "This win is huge. Its win and advance, and we're just trying to get to the next day. We came in as the eighth-seed but we expected this to happen."
John Koch (4-6) earned the win for ASU after throwing 3.2 scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out three. Cody Woodhouse got the start and surrendered two runs in 5.1 innings.
For Troy (40-18), Ryan Sorce (6-3) took the loss after pitching five innings and struck out four. Thomas Austin threw two scoreless innings, while Nate Hill pitched a perfect frame with two strikeouts.
The Red Wolves got their first run on an RBI double into the gap in left-center field by Derek Birginske. The hit scored Logan Uxa in the first after he reached on an infield single in the fourth inning to cut their deficit to 2-1.
The Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Logan Pierce got it started with a double down the left field line and Danny Collins followed with a triple to left field. Trae Santos tacked on the second run with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Collins.
Troy posed one last threat in the ninth inning with two outs when Logan Pierce walked and Danny Collins legged out an infield single to put a pair of runners on base. ASU's Koch forced a fly out to center field by Santos to end the game.
ASU advances to take on fourth-seeded Florida Atlantic at 9:00 a.m. CT on Saturday.