OXFORD, MS (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball team made three errors that led to three Ole Miss unearned runs as the 21st-ranked Rebels came from behind to defeat the Red Wolves 4-3 on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning at Oxford University Stadium/Swayze Field on a cold and windy Wednesday night in Oxford, Miss.
The score was tied 2-2 when Tanner Ring led off the top of the sixth with a triple, but was left stranded after two strikeouts and a groundout to third. Jeremy Brown led off the seventh with a triple to left-center field, but two straight strikeouts gave Ole Miss (4-0) two outs with Brown still standing on third. However, Austin Baker smacked a 0-2 pitch past the first baseman to score Brown and give A-State (2-2) a 3-2 edge.
Ole Miss’s Will Golsan reached on an error by Brown to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning, but reliever J.D. Miller got two outs quickly and appeared to have quelled the home team’s threat. However, a wild pitch followed by a single from Tate Blackman tied the game up at 3-3. A-State was able to get out of the inning without further damage, but couldn’t push across a run in the top of the ninth.
Henri Lartigue led off the bottom of the ninth against Bradey Welsh with an opposite-field double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, but the Red Wolves failed to get an out due to a high throw by Ring at third base. The Red Wolves intentionally walked pinch-hitter Connor Cloyd to load the bases and Cameron Dishon hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the winning run for Ole Miss.
A-State starter Cody Jackson tied a career high with five innings pitched in his first career start. The Hot Springs, Ark., native gave up two unearned runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Coulton Lee pitched two scoreless innings in relief allowing only one hit with one strikeout and no walks. Miller gave up an unearned run in an inning of work while Welsh took the loss.
A-State had six different players register a hit with Ring and Brown both hitting triples, while Ty White, Joe Schrimpf, and Baker each knocked in a run.
Dallas Woolfolk earned the win for the Rebels with a scoreless top of the ninth inning. Ole Miss’s starter James McArthur only lasted three innings while Andy Pagnozzi pitched three innings out of the bullpen. David Parkinson and Brady Feigl also pitched for Ole Miss. Offensively, Blackman led the Rebels with two hits and reached base all four times.
The Red Wolves struck first in the contest with two runs on a single by White and bases-loaded walk from Schrimpf. Garrett Rucker led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch before Matt Burgess singled to right field to put runners on first and second. Tony Ortiz laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases, but two strikeouts by Ole Miss starter James McArthur made it look as if the Rebels may get out of it before White’s hit and Schrimpf’s walk.
Ole Miss struck back in the bottom of the third to tie the game 2-2 on an error by White in right field. There were runners on first and second with two outs when a fly ball by Lartigue was hit to right field right down the line that White had to range a long way for. He appeared to get there in good shape but had the ball deflect off his glove for the two unearned runs to score. Lartigue was thrown out trying to advance to third to end the inning.
Arkansas State returns to action Friday, Feb. 26 against Morehead State in Emerson, Ga. First pitch from the Perfect Game Complex is scheduled for 2 p.m.