DECATUR, Ga. (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State offense exploded for eight runs in the seventh inning as the Red Wolves defeated Georgia State 10-6 to avoid a series sweep at the GSU Baseball Complex Sunday afternoon.
A-State (25-19, 14-7 SBC) brought 12 hitters to plate in the seventh inning and scored eight runs on four hits that included two, two-RBI singles and a two-run triple.
Dustin Jones' triple, his second in as many days, capped the big inning for A-State. The inning began with a bunt single by Joe Schrimpf and a walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Austin Baker who came through with a 2-run single to tie the game at 4-4.
Matt Burgess followed with a shot that hit off the 385-foot sign in dead centerfield to give the Red Wolves their first lead since the first top of the first inning. Burgess scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Kevin Fitzpatrick. Schrimpf reached base for the second time in the inning with an RBI single and Jones finished it off with his third triple of the season.
Schrimpf went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Chandler Hawkins (3-5), who entered the game down two runs in the sixth inning, earned the win after taking the loss on Saturday. The junior left-hander tossed two innings and gave up two runs on two hits but loaded the bases before leaving the game to bring the tying run to the plate.
Freshman Tyler Zuber replaced Hawkins and struck out the SBC leader in home runs, Nic Wilson, to leave the bases loaded and preserve the lead for A-State and then worked an uneventful ninth inning for his first save of his career.
A-State made Aidan McLaughlin pay in the first inning after allowing the first three batters to reach base. Eric Wilcoxson leadoff the game with a four-pitch walk and Zach Maggio singled to put runners on the corners. Baker followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs.
After Burgess struck out, Stuart Levy drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but the Red Wolves' ran themselves out of the inning when Baker was thrown at second trying to tag up on the play.
Maggio and Baker each finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Burgess had a hit and two RBIs.
The lead would not last, however, as Georgia State (21-24, 7-14 SBC) tied the game in the second inning and then took the lead on a two-run home run by Wilson to go up 3-1.
A-State made it a one run game when Maggio drove in Wilcoxson in the fifth inning, but the Panthers go the run back in the bottom half of the inning to push its lead back to two runs at 4-2.
Tanner Gaines looked sharp in his first career Sun Belt Conference start. The junior right-hander went three innings, gave up three runs on five hits and struck out three. Coulton Lee relieved him in the fourth gave up one run on two hits with one strikeout.
Colton Kibler followed with 2/3 of inning, but made his biggest presence in the field with a diving catch in foul territory on a bunt attempt in the sixth inning.
A-State returns home for a midweek contest against Murray State Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 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).