MURRAY, KY (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball squad used 15 hits, including seven extra-base hits, to defeat Murray State by a score of 14-6 in nonconference action at Reagan Field in Murray, Ky., Tuesday afternoon.
Collin Massanelli had a big day at the plate in his first start of the season as the senior outfielder went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, a RBI, and two runs scored. Matt Burgess also had a big day at the plate with three hits, including his first home run of the season, and three RBIs.
A-State (10-11) trailed 5-3 after Murray State (8-17) added a run in the bottom of the fourth, but the Red Wolves struck back with a four-run frame in the top of the fifth. A walk, bunt single, and error loaded the bases for Joe Schrimpf and he delivered with a double down the left-field line that cleared the bases to give the visitors a 6-5 advantage. The Racers' Tanner Edge, who relieved Racer's starter John Lollar earlier in the inning, struck out the next two batters, but Zach George singled home Schrimpf for a 7-5 lead.
Burgess extended Arkansas State's lead to 9-5 when he hit a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence with George on base in the top of the seventh inning. The Red Wolves threatened again in the top of the eighth after loading the bases with one out, but pinch-hitter Brett Andersen and George both struck out to end the frame.
Arkansas State put the game out of reach with a five-run ninth inning that began with a walk to Stuart Levy and a double by Tanner Ring off the center-field wall. A wild pitch scored Levy and Massanelli plated Ring with a single up the middle to put A-State on top 11-5. Massanelli later scored on an Austin Baker single and the final two runs of the inning scored on a Murray State error to put the score at 14-5. The Racers added one run in the bottom of the ninth to set the final tally at 14-6 in favor of the Red Wolves.
Collin Nord started the game for A-State and went 2.2 innings in his first career start. Nord gave up four runs (all earned) on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Cody Jackson relieved Nord and went 3.1 innings to improve to 2-0 on the year. Jackson gave up one run (earned) on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Colton Kibler tossed two innings of scoreless relief while Coulton Lee finished the game and gave up one run.
Murray State's Edge took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season, while the Racers were led at the plate by Tyler Lawrence who had two hits and two RBIs.
The Red Wolves were the first to score in the contest when Lollar ran into trouble after striking out the first two batters of the game. George laid a bunt single down towards third base before Burgess singled into right field. The Racers' catcher Rick Linton tried to pick Burgess off first, but threw the ball into right field and George was able to score for the early 1-0 edge. Lollar struck out Ring to end the half-inning.
Murray State wasted little time tying things up when Pokey Harris homered to left field off Nord to lead off the bottom of the first. However, Nord calmed the storm with two strikeouts and a ground out to third to end the frame.
Schrimpf started a two-out rally in the top of the second with a double to left-center field and scored a batter later when Baker singled to center field for a 2-1 A-State lead. Ty White singled through the right side and George was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Burgess. Lollar hit Burgess with a 2-2 pitch and the Red Wolves extended their advantage to 3-1. Levy grounded into a force out at third to end the inning.
Nord walked the first batter of the bottom of the third inning, but got a fly out to center field before walking another batter to work himself into a jam. Dalton West singled through the left side to score one run and cut the A-State advantage to 3-2 and Tyler Lawrence followed with a double to left-center field to tie to score one run and tie the game at 3-3. Anthony Bayus grounded out to shortstop to score a run and give the home team a 4-3 edge. Jackson relieved Nord and got a fly out to Massanelli to end the inning.
The Red Wolves return to action Wednesday, March 25 against Southeast Missouri in a home nonconference contest. First pitch from Tomlinson Stadium is set for 4 p.m