Emerson, GA (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball team used seven different pitchers and rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the ninth, but fell to Nebraska Omaha 4-3 in 11 innings Sunday at the Perfect Game Complex in Emerson, Ga.
The Red Wolves (4-4) found themselves down to the Mavericks (5-3) in the bottom of the ninth inning and down to their last strike with pinch-runner Tim Seldomridge on second base, Neil Lambert on first, and Ty White at the plate. White proceeded to hit a 1-2 pitch through the middle to score Seldomridge and tie the game 4-4. Joe Schrimpf walked to load the bases for Austin Baker, but the A-State centerfielder popped up to end the inning.
Both teams put runners on in the 10th inning, but couldn’t push across a run. Omaha led off the top of the 11th with a single off reliever J.D. Miller, but the Sherwood, Ark., native retired the next two hitters on a fly ball and strikeout to give A-State two outs. Adam Caniglia, who led off the inning with a hit, stole second base on the strikeout to get into scoring position, which proved to be huge as Collin Leif lined a pitch into center field to score him and give the Mavericks the 4-3 edge.
White singled with two outs in the bottom of the 11th and Schrimpf was hit by a pitch, A-State’s 10th of the weekend, as the team threatened, but Baker grounded out to end the game. Arkansas State dropped to 4-4 on the season, while Omaha improved to 5-3. A-State went 2-2 during the weekend, while the Mavericks and Morehead State both went 3-1 and Saint Louis was 0-4.
Ryan Cate earned the win for Omaha with two scoreless innings on the mound, while Miller fell to 1-2 on the year for A-State with the loss. Caniglia was the only Mavericks’ player with multiple hits, while White had four hits for the Red Wolves and Matt Burgess had two.
A-State got on the board early in the game with two unearned runs in the bottom of the first. White reached on an error and came around on a Tanner Ring fielder’s choice before Garrett Rucker plated Baker with a single to left-center.
Arkansas State starter Peyton Culbertson, making his first career start, was excellent through five innings with no runs allowed, but gave up three runs in the sixth, one of which was unearned. He walked the leadoff batter of the inning before serving up a two-run homer to Clayton Taylor. He got two outs before walking Caniglia and being relieved by Collin Nord. Nord gave up an infield single and saw Caniglia advance to third on an error on the throw. Caniglia came around to score after Nord made an errant pickoff attempt to first base to give the Mavericks a 3-2 lead.
Bradey Welsh pitched 2.2 innings for A-State after Culbertson and Nord, while Tony Ortiz, Coulton Lee, and Tanner Kirby all made appearances on the bump before Miller took the mound in the 11th inning.
Arkansas State plays Milwaukee in its 2016 home opener Friday, March 4, at 6 p.m. at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field in Jonesboro.