JONESBORO, Ark. (astateredwolves.com) – Ty Michelotti reached base all three times after entering the game in the seventh inning and delivered the game-winning RBI fielder's choice in the bottom of the ninth as Arkansas State rallied from three runs down to defeat Louisiana-Monroe 10-9 Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium.
The win gave A-State its third sweep of the season and it's second in Sun Belt Conference play. It also extended the Red Wolves win-streak to six games and improved their overall record to 24-16 and 13-5 in league play, while ULM fell to 16-26 overall and 7-11 in the SBC.
Michelotti's RBI fielder's choice was the first walk-off of his career and continued the Red Wolves' recent offensive surge at the plate. Michelotti's grounder was hit softly and fielded by Josh Faciane who throw home for the force out, but Zach Maggio beat throw for the game's winning run.
The Red Wolves' comeback started on a wild play on a bloop single and a throwing error on Justin Stawychny that resulted in a run. Eric Wilcoxson dropped in a single in front of Stawychny and the ULM left fielder attempted to throw out Collin Massanelli at third, who had only gone half way to see if the ball would be caught. Stawychny's throw sailed wide of the third baseman and Massanelli scored to cut the deficit to 9-7.
Maggio made it a 1-run game with an RBI fielder's choice and Matt Burgess tied the game with an RBI single through the right side that scored Wilcoxson.
Wilcoxson reached base five times, including two hits and three walks, and scored twice. Dustin Jones, Michelotti, Burgess and Austin Baker drove in two runs each, while Burgess also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two walks.
The Warhawks led 8-3 after 7 ½ innings but the Red Wolves scored three in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 2-run game. Baker drove in run on a fielder's choice and Burgess singled to right for the inning's second run.
Michellotti drew a bases loaded walk later in the inning to cut the deficit to 8-6, but the Warhawks scored a run in the top of the ninth inning to push the lead to three runs to setup the Red Wolves heroics in the bottom half of the inning.
A-State starter Bradley Wallace struck out five and gave up two runs on two hits before giving way to Chandler Hawkins in the fifth. Hawkins struggled and gave up four runs on four hits before being lifted in favor of Tanner Gaines.
Gaines quieted the ULM bats and struck out four in 2.2 innings of work. Morgan Croft, Tyler Zuber, Colton Kibler and Coulton Lee combined to pitch the final two innings with Lee earning his first collegiate win after retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth.
A day after scoring eight runs in three innings, the Red Wolves were kept mostly quiet their outburst in the final two innings.
A-State stranded 10 runners through the first eight innings and left the bases loaded in the loaded in the eighth inning and left the potential go-ahead run on-base
Arkansas State led 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI single by Baker, but the Warhawks scored the next six runs before the Red Wolves plated two in the sixth inning on a 2-RBI double by Jones.
A-State returns to action for a midweek game at Central Arkansas Tuesday, April 22. First-pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be heard 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).