JONESBORO, Ark. (3/25/16) – Senior third baseman Tanner Ring lined a 1-2 pitch into left field to score Tim Seldomridge in the bottom of the ninth to give the Arkansas State baseball team a 6-5 walk-off victory over Georgia Southern Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field in Jonesboro.
Georgia Southern (14-8, 5-3 SBC) reliever Chris Brown walked Seldomridge to begin the frame before hitting Ty White to put runners on first on second. Brown walked Jake Bakamus to load the bases to set up Ring’s walk-off hit.
Ring finished the night 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs and a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to give A-State (11-11, 3-5 SBC) a 1-0 edge over the Eagles. Neil Lambert and Tony Ortiz each had two hits apiece with Lambert recording his first career triple. Ortiz knocked in two runs, while Lambert and Seldomridge each had one RBI each.
A-State appeared to be on cruise control through the first six innings and held a 5-1 advantage before things began to unravel in the top of the seventh.
Cody Jackson surrendered a pinch-hit home run to Drew Kelley to get the Eagles within three runs and a throwing error by Lambert at shortstop allowed the inning to continue. Following a walk to Hunter Thomas to bring the tying run to the plate, Jackson gave up a three-run home run to Ryan Cleveland that tied the game at 5-5.
Ring’s fourth home run of the year in the bottom of the first inning was a mammoth shot over the fence in the leftfield. Ring battled Georgia Southern starting pitcher Chase Cohen in an 11-pitch at-bat that included six foul balls before finally getting a pitch he could handle and send it over the wall for a home run.
The Red Wolves added to the lead in the second inning on Lambert’s triple that plated Ortiz to make the score 2-0. Connor Simmons replaced Cohen in the bottom of the third, but walked Joe Schrimpf to load the bases and Ortiz followed with a two-run single that scored Ring and Bakamus to give Arkansas State a 4-0 lead after three innings.
Arkansas State starter Adam Grantham worked out of trouble in the fourth inning after loading the bases with no outs, but escaped by getting a groundball out to second that plated a run and then struck out the next two he faced to limit the damage.
The senior from Kennett, Mo., tossed five innings and struck out seven, while giving up one run on three hits, but didn’t factor in the decision. Coulton Lee picked up the win, his third of the year, after throwing 2.1 innings out of the bullpen with no runs allowed on one hit with no walks and three strikeouts.
Brown took the loss for Georgia Southern after failing to record an out in the ninth inning. Simmons was very effective for the Eagles in relief with four innings out of the pen and only one run allowed (earned) on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Logan Baldwin led the Eagles with three hits, while Cleveland’s three RBIs led the visitors.
Arkansas State hosts Georgia Southern in Saturday’s series finale at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m.