A-State Baseball drops 8-3 decision to No. 24 Memphis
JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State baseball team took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, but allowed No. 24 Memphis to score five runs in the top of the seventh as the Tigers went on to win the midweek contest 8-3 at Tomlinson Stadium Tuesday night in Jonesboro.
The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Matt Burgess led off with a hard line drive to left field for a base hit. Burgess was sacrifice-bunted over to second and advanced to third on a Ty Michelotti single with Michelotti advancing to second on the throw home. Burgess scored on a wild pitch to give A-State (18-24) a 2-1 edge after Colton Hathcock entered the game for Memphis (30-13) starter Alex Gunn with one out in the inning. Michelotti was later plated on a Jeremy Brown infield single to give the Red Wolves a 3-1 advantage going into the seventh inning.
Chandler Hawkins, who had entered the game for starter Derek Birginske an inning before, got the first out of the inning, but allowed two straight base hits for the Tigers to begin a threat. Hawkins was able to get Darien Tubbs to fly out to right field for the second out, but the runners moved up a base after a passed ball.
Hawkins walked the next hitter after Tubbs, but uncorked a wild pitch on ball four to put the score at 3-2. Tanner Kirby entered the game for A-State and walked the first hitter he faced before the Tigers' Tucker Tubbs hit a grand slam over the left-field fence, his 13th homer of the season, to give Memphis control of the game at 6-3.
The Red Wolves got two runners on in the bottom of the seventh to lead off the frame, but neither could come around to score. Memphis added two more runs in the top of the ninth for an 8-3 lead and A-State couldn't plate any runs in the bottom of the ninth despite runners advancing to second and third.
Hathcock earned the win for Memphis after pitching two-thirds of an inning and allowing no runs on one hit. Trey McNickle earned his first save of the season after coming on in the eighth inning and not allowing a hit in two innings of work. Hawkins took the loss for A-State after allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits in 1.1 innings or action. Birginske turned in a solid start after tossing 5.1 innings and only allowing one earned run on four hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Offensively, A-State got two hits from Zach George and Joe Schrimpf atop the lineup, while Brown had the only RBI for the home team as the other two runs scored on wild pitches. George extended his nation-high on-base streak to 59 games and hit streak to nine games. Kane Barrow had three hits for Memphis, while Tubbs had two including five RBIs.
A-State began the scoring in the top of the first off Memphis starter Alex Gunn after George led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. He stole third before scoring on a wild pitch for the 1-0 edge. Memphis responded to tie the game in the top of the fourth on a RBI ground out by Jake Little.
The Red Wolves travel to Kansas State to take on the Wildcats in a three-game nonconference series May 1-3. 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).