MEMPHIS, TN (ASU) – The Arkansas State baseball team dropped a 5-2 decision to Memphis in nonconference play Tuesday night at FedExPark in Memphis as the Red Wolves couldn't solve the Tigers' starter Alex Gunn.
Gunn pitched six innings for Memphis and gave up no runs on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Tigers scored four runs in the first three innings and the Red Wolves couldn't mount a comeback.
A-State (8-9) fell into an early hole after the Tigers (10-4) plated a run in the bottom of the first inning. Darien Tubbs and Jake Overbey singled to lead off the inning and Tubbs eventually scored on a double play ground out after stealing third base. The Red Wolves threatened in the top of the second after Stuart Levy doubled to lead off the inning and Memphis starter Alex Gunn walked the bases loaded with two outs. However, Lucas Feddersen flew out to the warning track in right field for the third out.
Memphis started the second inning with back-to-back singles and had runners at second and third after a sacrifice bunt. A-State starter Chandler Hawkins struck out Carter White for the second out, but an infield hit and an error on the throw plated two more Tigers' runs. A ground out to second ended the inning, but Memphis added another run in the bottom of the third and took a 4-0 lead to the fourth inning.
Bo Ritter relieved Hawkins and pitched a perfect fourth, but got into some trouble in the fifth inning after a one-out walk. A wild pitch moved Kane Barrow to second and he came around to score on an error to extend the Memphis advantage to 5-0. Ritter picked Chris Carrier off first base to end the inning. Zach George extended his on-base streak to 34 games with a lead-off single in the sixth, but was left stranded at second to end the inning.
The Red Wolves added their first run of the game in the top of the seventh when Joe Schrimpf doubled to lead off the inning and was plated by a Matt Burgess single down the left field line. Burgess was erased on a fielder's choice the next batter before Feddersen struck out and Ty White grounded out to third base to end the inning. The Red Wolves added another run in the top of the eighth when George scored on an error, but couldn't rally and fell to Memphis 5-2.
Hawkins pitched the first three innings and took the loss as the senior lefthander allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The A-State bullpen of Ritter, Cody Jackson, Collin Nord, and Colton Kibler combined to throw five innings and allowed an unearned run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Offensively, George and Burgess led the Red Wolves with two hits and Burgess had the team's only RBI.
Arkansas State returns to action this weekend in Sun Belt Conference action when the Red Wolves travel to Georgia Southern March 20-22. First pitch Friday is set for 5 p.m. (CT) in Statesboro, Ga. For the latest on A-State baseball follow the team by logging onto the team's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/astatebaseball and following them on Twitter (@ASTATEBaseball).