A-State falls to South Alabama 6-2 at SBC Tournament
TROY, AL (ASU) – The eighth-seeded Arkansas State baseball team lost to first-seeded South Alabama by a score of 6-2 at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, Ala., Wednesday afternoon as the Jaguars scored all six of their runs in the third-fifth innings and A-State could only muster four base hits.
The Red Wolves (25-29) took an early advantage in the game 1-0 when Zach George had an RBI ground out to score Jeremy Brown in the top of the third. Brown had walked to lead off the inning and Lucas Feddersen hit a double to right-center field to put runners at second and third. South Alabama (35-19) wasted no time responding as the Jaguars tied it up 1-1 on a Cole Billingsley single to right.
The fourth inning proved to be a big inning for South Alabama as the Jaguars got the first two runners on base with an infield hit and a bloop single to left field. Cole Gleason followed with a long single off the right-field fence to give USA a 2-1 edge before a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. A RBI ground out gave the top seed a 3-1 advantage before a Ryan Raspino two-out single scored the third and final run of the inning for a 4-1 South Alabama lead.
South Alabama added two more runs on a double and RBI ground out in the bottom of the fifth to extend its advantage to 6-1. A-State threatened in the top of the sixth by loading the bases with two outs to bring up Stuart Levy. Levy worked the count full and fouled off a number of pitches, but flew out to left field on the 14th pitch of the at-bat to end the frame.
The Red Wolves loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh inning after a HBP, bunt single, and walk. A-State added a run on a double play ground out by Joe Schrimpf to make the score 6-2, but Austin Baker flew out to center field to end the threat. A-State also put two runners on in each of the last two innings, but ultimately ended up stranding those four as Ben Taylor relieved Mike Dolloff to get the final two outs of the game to clinch the 6-2 victory for USA.
The Jaguars' starting pitcher, Jared Gates, threw 132 pitches over 7.1 innings to earn the win as he walked seven and struck out two. David Owen took the loss for the Red Wolves to fall to 3-5 on the year as he went 6.1 innings and gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Taylor's save for South Alabama was his seventh of the season. Colton Kibler looked good out of the bullpen for the Red Wolves as he tossed 1.2 scoreless innings.
Offensively, Feddersen led the Red Wolves at the plate with two hits, including a double, while Ty White and Collin Massanelli picked up the other two hits. White and Massanelli also played their positions well as both players made impressive diving catches. George walked in his last two at-bats to extend his nation-leading on-base streak to 71 games and also had the team's only RBI. A-State left 11 runners on base.
South Alabama recorded nine hits on the afternoon, with Adam Ballew leading the way with three, while Billingsley and Raspino had two apiece. Six different USA players drove in a run, while six different players also scored a run.
The Red Wolves will play Georgia Southern in an elimination game at 9 a.m., Thursday morning at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, Ala. The Eagles lost to Georgia State 3-2 in the game before the Red Wolves and Jaguars. Fans can watch the game for free on SunBeltSports.org.