JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) — For the second straight season the Arkansas State baseball team opened the year with a home series sweep after defeating Miami (Ohio) 13-3 Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium.
Matt Burgess and Austin Baker combined to 6-for-8 in the game with five RBIs to complete a huge weekend at the plate for the pair. Burgess went 6-for-9 at the plate in two games with six RBIs, two doubles and five runs scored, while Baker finished the series with five hits, five RBIs and a triple.
The Red Wolves scored in six of the first seven innings and were aided by a number of RedHawks miscues throughout the game. Leading 1-0, A-State broke the game open with a three-run third inning thanks to a triple from Baker to start to the rally. The triple drove in Zach George who led off the inning with a double and Baker scored on one of three Burgess RBIs on the day. The inning continued when Stuart Levy reached on an error, which allowed Burgess to score the third run of the inning.
A-State plated two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Zach Maggio scored from second while tagging up on a deep fly ball to center field and Burgess followed with an RBI double to score George to push the lead to 6-2. In the sixth inning Derek Birginske drove in a run with an RBI double and Dustin Jones followed with an RBI double of his own to make it an 8-3 game.
After a pair of singles to start the game in the first inning, the Red Wolves followed with seven straight extra-base hits, including back-to-back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning. George, Burgess, Joe Schrimpf and Jones had two doubles each while Birginske had one.
In the sixth inning, Arkansas State scored three more runs and then added two in the seventh to set the final at 13-3.
David Owen earned his first victory of the season after going pitching five innings and giving up three runs on four hits in his first collegiate start. Morgan Croft followed on the sixth with three innings of shutout baseball, while Tanner Ring tossed a perfect ninth to close out the game.
The series concluded a big weekend at the plate offensively for the Red Wolves who scored 34 runs across two games and had 36 hits. Jones and George each had five hits on the weekend and as team Arkansas State had 13 doubles and 28 RBIs with a .336 batting average.
Arkansas State will return to the diamond for an in-state matchup with Arkansas-Monticello Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Kell Field. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State baseball by following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesbaseball).