Two-Out Runs Carry A-State Baseball Past Louisiana-Lafayette 10-4
Sports - ASU Red Wolves (White)
LAFAYETTE, LA (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball team scored five of its first seven runs with two outs before pulling away from Louisiana-Lafayette late in a 10-4 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns Friday night at M.L. Tigue Moore Field in Lafayette, La.
The Red Wolves (11-12, 3-6 SBC) and Ragin' Cajuns (13-10, 5-4 SBC) were tied at 2-2 going into the fifth inning, but Jeremy Brown doubled down the right-field line to start the frame off and Austin Baker walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Zach George singled home the go-ahead run when he hit a one hopper that glanced off ULL's starting pitcher Gunner Leger's glove into the outfield. The Red Wolves added another run when the Ragin' Cajuns booted a ground ball to take a 4-2 lead.
Louisiana-Lafayette appeared poised for a big inning of their own in the bottom of the fifth when back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with no outs. However, second baseman Joe Schrimpf made a spectacular back-handed play with a glove flip to the bag to start a 4-6-3 double play that prevented the big inning despite one run scoring on the play. A-State starter Tyler Zuber induced a ground out to end the inning to maintain the 4-3 advantage.
Arkansas State extended the lead to 5-3 when Matt Burgess homered to right field with two outs in the seventh inning for his second round-tripper of the season. The Red Wolves added two more two-out runs in the top of the eighth inning on a wild pitch and bases loaded walk to carry a 7-3 edge to the bottom of the inning.
The Ragin' Cajuns scored a run in the eighth, but A-State put the game out of reach in the ninth inning when Ty White bunted a run home and Brown singled home two more to set the score at 10-4. Colton Kibler pitched a perfect ninth after coming on in the seventh inning to record his third save of the season. He gave up one run on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts in three innings of work.
Zuber improved to 3-2 with the win for the Red Wolves and tossed a career-high 116 pitches as he battled through some control problems early in the game. He gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The sophomore right-hander also hit two batters as he allowed the lead-off hitter to reach base in the first five innings, but never let the Ragin' Cajuns score more than one run in any inning.
Leger took the loss for Louisiana-Lafayette, his first of the season, after throwing five innings and allowing four runs (all earned) on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The ULL bullpen gave up against six runs (all earned).
Offensively, White led A-State with three hits and one RBI, while Schrimpf and Brown each had two hits and two RBIs apiece. The Ragin' Cajuns only had six hits on the night with no player registering more than one.
ULL scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the third, but A-State quickly responded in the fourth when Collin Massanelli was hit by a pitch with two outs to spark a rally. Tanner Ring singled after the HBP and Schrimpf picked up two RBIs on a double down the left-field line that gave A-State a 2-1 edge. Louisiana-Lafayette left fielder Brian Mills quickly tied things up at 2-2 when he hit his first home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
The Red Wolves and Ragin' Cajuns square off again Saturday in Lafayette, La., with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at M.L. Tigue Moore Field. Fans can watch tomorrow's game on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.