SAN MARCOS, TX (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball team blew a late lead, but Jeremy Brown singled home Stuart Levy in the top of the ninth inning as the Red Wolves were able to sweep Texas State with an 11-10 victory in the series finale.
Ty White walked with one out in the top of the ninth, but was erased on a fielder's choice by Levy to put two outs on the scoreboard for Texas State (20-29-1, 12-15 SBC). A wild pitch allowed Levy to advance to second to set up Brown's heroics when the freshman from Festus, Mo., hit a line drive past the diving shortstop to score Levy and put A-State (23-26, 10-16 SBC) on top 11-10.
The Bobcats threatened with back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the ninth to put runners on the corners, but a safety squeeze attempt by Mickey Scott was fielded by pitcher Tyler Zuber, who flipped to Levy to get the runner out at the plate. Zuber then struck out Theodore Hoffman and got Jared Huber to ground out to second base to end the game and give A-State its first SBC road sweep since sweeping UALR in Little Rock during the 2013 season.
Offensively, Zach George reached base all five times with three hits and two HBPs, while also driving in two runs. Brown and Matt Burgess also had two hits apiece and each had two RBIs. Zuber earned his team-high sixth victory on the mound, while Colton Kibler tossed four innings out of the bullpen.
Cory Geisler and Ben McElroy led Texas State with three hits each, while Braden Pearson was solid out of the bullpen after having to enter the game in the top of the first inning. Pearson threw 5.1 innings and allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits.
The Red Wolves began the game with the first five hitters reaching base with two hits, two hit-by-pitches, and one walk with a Burgess single plating the first run and a Tanner Ring walk scoring the second for a 2-0 lead. Texas State starter Jeremy Hallonquist got White to ground into a double play, but another run scored to make the tally 3-0.
Levy added an RBI single and George singled through the right side in his second at-bat of the inning to plate Levy and Brown for a 6-0 A-State advantage. Braden Pearson came in to relieve Hallonquist and got Joe Schrimpf to ground out to shortstop to end the inning after the Red Wolves sent 11 batters to the plate.
A-State starter Jon Glidewell loaded the bases with no outs and Texas State got on the board with a sacrifice fly to right field to cut into A-State's lead at 6-1. Glidewell struck out the next batter, but his second walk of the inning loaded the bases with two outs. The Red Wolves made a pitching change to Derek Birginske and the junior right-hander threw one pitch and got a ground out to shortstop to get out of the jam.
The Bobcats loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second off Birginske with two walks and a HBP and got within 6-2 on a RBI ground out to third base. The home team closed the gap even further when Tanner Hill doubled down the left-field line to score two more runs to make the score 6-4, but a ground out to short by the next batter ended the inning.
A-State threatened again in the top of the third inning when White singled to center field to begin the inning and was sacrifice-bunted to second base by Levy. A strike out by Brown put two outs on the board, but Lucas Feddersen singled to shallow center field to score White to make the score 7-4.
George led the top of the sixth inning off with a single to right field and after being bunted over the second base, he scored on a single by Austin Baker for an 8-4 lead. Baker advanced to second on a balk and to third on a passed ball before Burgess hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make the score 9-4. Texas State's Geisler answered quickly in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run homer off of Kibler to cut into the A-State lead at 9-6.
The Bobcats continued to stay close when Hill homered to left field to start the bottom of the seventh inning to make the score 10-7. Kibler allowed a double to McElroy during the next at-bat and A-State turned to Coulton Lee to preserve the lead. Lee gave up a single that put runners on the corners with no outs, but got a 4-3 double play when Schrimpf made a fantastic play on a short hop. However, a run did score to make it 10-8, but a fly out to center ended the frame.
Texas State entered the bottom of the eighth down 10-8, but Lee walked pinch-hitter Jared Huber and Geisler followed with his second, two-run homer of the game to tie things up at 10-10. The next hitter flew out to center field, but a walk ended Lee's afternoon and Zuber came on to get a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and send it to the ninth.