Baker's record setting day carries ASU to 27-7 victory

MURRAY, Ky. ( – Sophomore Austin Baker rewrote the A-State baseball record books Tuesday afternoon by setting two new school records and tying another in a 27-7 win over Murray State at Reagan Field.

Baker, a native of Montesano, Wash., hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats from the 5-8 inning to tie the school record for homers in a game.  He also set the school record for runs in a game with seven, breaking the previous record of five, and set a new record in total bases with 14, breaking the previous record of 13.  He finished his day 5-for-6 with five RBI's.

Lucas Feddersen also tied the school record for at-bats in a game with eight.  He was 3-for-8 on the day with an RBI.  Tyler Hardie also tied the school record with four walks in the game and was 3-for-4 with three RBI's.  As a team the Red Wolves (8-8) finished with 19 hits from eight different players and finished one run shy of the school record of 28, set against Memphis in 1992.

Cody Woodhouse took the win for the Red Wolves to improve to 1-0 on the season.  He pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief after coming in for Tanner Gaines, who went 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout.  Kyle Cornett took the loss for Murray State (7-7) after giving up eight runs (one earned) in 1 1/3 innings and allowing three hits with two walks and a strikeout.

A-State began the game with a walk by Zach Maggio and Feddersen got a bunt down and reached on an error Cornett.  Baker got a sacrifice bunt down as well, but a throwing error by Cornett allowed Maggio and Feddersen to score for a 2-0 Red Wolves lead.  Matt Burgess drove in Baker with an RBI groundout to second to extend A-State's lead to 3-0 without recording a hit.

Derek Birginske hit a single to right field and scored on Joe Schrimpf's first career triple to put the score at 4-0 in favor of A-State.  The Red Wolves got their fifth run of the inning when Hardie doubled home Schrimpf and A-State loaded the bases with two outs, but Cornett was able to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs to keep the A-State lead at 5-0.

The Red Wolves didn't slow down their offensive attack in the top of the second when Baker reached on an error and Burgess was hit by a pitch to start the inning.  After a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, Birginske plated a run with an RBI groundout to third to put A-State up 6-1.

After a pitching change with one out in the inning, Matt Burgess stole home on a double steal to give Arkansas State its seventh run of the game and Collin Massanelli drove home another run with a sacrifice fly to left to give A-State an 8-1 lead after the top of the second inning.

The offensive barrage continued for the Red Wolves in the top of the third inning when Feddersen and Baker had back-to-back singles, the latter allowing Feddersen to go to third and Baker to advance to second on the throw.  Both runners scored when the next hitter, Burgess, doubled to right-center field to extend A-State's lead to 10-1 and Burgess scored on a sacrifice fly by Schrimpf to set the score at 11-1 in favor of the Red Wolves.

Dustin Jones stepped up to the plate after a walk and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and registered an RBI after being hit by a pitch to make the score 12-1.  Maggio stepped up to the plate and was also hit by a pitch to plate another A-State run and give Arkansas State a 13-1 lead over the Thoroughbreds after the top of the third inning.

The Red Wolves added one more run in the top of the fourth inning when Hardie drove Baker home on an infield single to make the score 14-1, but Murray State struck back with a three-run homer from Taylor Mathews in the bottom half of the fourth to bring the Thoroughbreds within 10 runs at 14-4.  In the top of the fifth, Baker got A-State its three runs back with a three-run homer of his own to set the score at 17-4 in favor of the Red Wolves.

The Thoroughbreds were able to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off a wild pitch, RBI single, and passed ball to set the score at 17-7, but the Red Wolves struck back with three runs in the top of the seventh when Baker hit a solo home run to lead off the inning.  A-State got two more runs off an error and a sacrifice fly by Eric Wilcoxson to make it 20-7 in favor of Arkansas State.

The Red Wolves secured another run in the top of the eighth inning when Baker hit his third home run of the contest to make the score 21-7.  Tanner Ring scored on a wild pitch and Hardie plated Keven Fitzpatrick on an RBI single to take a 23-7 lead.  Schrimpf scored on a wild pitch for a 24-7 lead for the Red Wolves and Brett Nickle hit a two-run double to score Kaleb Brown and Hardie to extend the A-State lead to 26-7.  Feddersen singled home Nickle for A-State's final run of the day.

The Red Wolves return to actionFriday, March 14 when they open Sun Belt Conference action against UALR.  First pitch from Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field in Jonesboro is set for6 p.m.