JONESBORO, Ark. (3/24/16) – The Arkansas State baseball team dropped its league home opener to Georgia Southern by a score of 8-3 Thursday night at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field in Jonesboro.
The Eagles (14-7, 5-2 SBC) put up four runs in the second, taking advantage of two errors by A-State. After Logan Baldwin reached on an error to start the second frame, starting pitcher Tyler Zuber struck out the next batter swinging, but Baldwin was moving on the 1-2 pitch to move to scoring position. Georgia Southern produced the big inning with three-straight hits and a sacrifice fly providing three runs and the second error in the inning brought in the final tally.
Arkansas State (10-11, 2-5 SBC) quickly responded by bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Burgess led off the inning with a walk and two singles loaded the bases. Second baseman Neil Lambert hit with the bases loaded and no outs and got the Red Wolves on the board with a groundout to third. A foul-out and hard hit line out got starter Evan Challenger out of the jam with Georgia Southern leading 4-1 after two.
Georgia Southern added two runs in the third and another in the fourth to lead 7-1 going to the bottom half of the fourth. The Eagles used a pair of doubles and a single to score two, two-out runs in the third, and a double, wild pitch and sacrifice fly resulted in the one-run fourth.
Joe Schrimpf hit a two-run home run to pull the Red Wolves within 7-3 in the fourth. Burgess took the free pass to leadoff the frame and Schrimpf deposited a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence for his second home run of the year and RBI numbers 15 and 16.
Bo Ritter came on in relief and pitched five strong innings to keep the Red Wolves within striking distance. Ritter pitched five innings and allowed only one run, a solo home run in the eighth. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out two.
Zuber allowed seven runs, four earned, on 10 hits over four innings of work. The loss drops him to 2-2 on the season, but he struck out seven, his fifth-straight outing with at least five punch outs. Challenger picked up the win for Georgia Southern, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits in 7.2 innings of work. He threw 116 pitches, struck out 10 against two walks while improving to 4-2 on the year.
A-State and Georgia Southern square off in game two of the three-game series on Friday at 6:00 at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field.