EMERSON, GA. (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball team used a walk-off hit by senior outfielder Ty White in game one of a doubleheader against Saint Louis, while Bryan Ayers pitched a career-high seven innings in game two as the Red Wolves swept the Billikens by scores of 5-4 and 9-2 in a doubleheader Saturday at the Perfect Game Complex in Emerson, Ga.
A-State (4-3) found themselves down to Saint Louis (0-7) 4-3 in game one in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and Jeremy Brown standing on second base. White stepped up to the plate and crushed a 0-2 pitch to the right-center gap for a RBI triple to tie the game at 4-4.
White’s heroics weren’t over yet as he stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the ninth. He lined the 1-1 pitch into center field to score pinch-runner Garrett Huff, who ran in place of Daltan Lovell, to give the Red Wolves the 5-4 walk-off victory. Lovell had reached to begin the inning on an error by the Billikens’ shortstop. Brown sacrifice-bunted Huff to second before Tim Seldomridge was hit by a pitch to set up White’s at-bat.
Coulton Lee picked up the win for the Red Wolves on the mound after throwing the last 1.1 innings of the game and now allowing a run on one hit with three strikeouts and a walk. Adam Grantham started the game and lasted 5.2 innings with four runs allowed (all earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Collin Nord tossed two innings out of the bullpen and didn’t allow a run on two hits before giving way to Lee.
SLU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the game on a RBI groundout and RBI single before Joe Schrimpf hit a pitch off the wall in center field with two runners on that caromed far enough away from the centerfielder to allow Schrimpf to scamper around the bases for a three-run, inside-the-park home run.
However, the Billikens responded with a home run by catcher James Morisano in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3 and took the lead 4-3 the following inning on a double by Josh Bunselmeyer before the A-State comeback.
Brett Shimanovsky took the loss for the Billikens on the mound after giving up the unearned run in the bottom of the ninth. Starter Josh Moore pitched 6.2 innings and gave up four runs (all earned) on six hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Braxton Martinez, Bunselmeyer, and Morisano led Saint Louis with two hits each.
In game two, Ayers got some early run support with seven runs through the first five innings as he was able to toss a career-high seven innings and earn his first win since 2014 after allowing two runs (earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Tanner Kirby pitched the last two innings and didn’t allow a hit with one walk and two strikeouts.
A-State scored a lone run in the top of the first when White was brought home on an Austin Baker RBI groundout. The Red Wolves added four more runs in the top of the fourth inning with the first coming on a RBI double by Matt Burgess before Jake Bakamus tallied his first career A-State RBI with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. Garrett Rucker scored on an error with the final run of the inning crossing the plate on a bases-loaded walk by White.
The Billikens scored their only two runs of the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Bunselmeyer two-run home run, but A-State got both runs back in the top of the fifth on an error and a Bakamus RBI single for a 7-2 advantage. Arkansas State’s final two runs of the game came across on Burgess RBI singles in the seventh and eighth innings to set the final score at 9-2.
Burgess led the team with a three-hit, three RBI performance at the plate, while Tanner Ring picked up two hits and scored a run. Bakamus had two RBIs, while White and Baker each had one.
Connor Lehmann took the loss for Saint Louis after tossing 3.1 innings and giving up five runs (all earned) on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. Cole Dubet and Parker Sniatynski each had two hits to lead SLU.
A-State concludes play at the Perfect Game Complex in Emerson, Ga., with a 10 a.m. (CT) contest against Nebraska Omaha Sunday morning.