JONESBORO, Ark. (astateredwolves.com) – Derek Birginske drove in three runs and Matt Burgess extended his hitting streak to 14-games with a solo home run in the sixth inning as Arkansas State defeated Louisiana-Monroe 11-7 in a Sun Belt Conference baseball game at Tomlinson Stadium Saturday night.
A-State (23-16, 12-5 SBC) won its fifth straight behind a masterful performance by true freshman Bryan Ayerswho tossed six innings, struck out seven and gave up two runs on four hits in his first career weekend start.
Cody Woodhouse pitched the final three innings in relief for his first career save.
Birginske drove in three runs with a bases loaded 2-out double in the first inning. ULM starter Chad Miller got the first two A-State hitters to fly out, but then gave up a single and back-to-back walks to load the bases for Birginske.
The Red Wolves broke the game open with five runs in the third inning. Stuart Levy drove in the inning's first run with an RBI double and Joe Schrimpf brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Dustin Jones drove in two runs with a 2-out RBI single that fell in front of the left fielder and Zach Maggio finished off the scoring with a bases loaded walk.
Jones' double chased Miller from the game after he gave up eight runs on five hits and walked four.
All nine Arkansas State hitters recorded a hit, while Jones went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Levy went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Birginske had a hit and three RBIs.
The Warhawks (16-25, 7-10) scored two runs in sixth inning off an odd play that resulted in a two-run triple for Keelin Rasch. The ball appeared to be a routine fly ball for Kaleb Brown in leftfield, but he lost it in the lights and Baker made a running attempt to catch the ball but over ran it and it fell for the only runs of that Ayers gave up.
Burgess connected for his third home run of the season in the home half of the sixth inning to make 9-2 game andEric Wilcoxson drove in two runs with an RBI single in the seventh, but was thrown trying to stretch it into a double.
Woodhouse came in relief of Ayers in the seventh inning and gave up five runs, including four in the ninth before getting the final out of the game.
A-State will go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Bradley Wallace is scheduled to get the start for the Red Wolves and the game can be hear on 95.3FM The Ticket/970AM KNEA and in the StateZone at AStateRedWolves.com
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).