Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – Louisiana-Lafayette hit a pair of home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to break up a pitcher’s duel and even the series at a game each with a 5-2 victory over Arkansas State Saturday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium.
A-State (13-13, 4-7 SBC) trailed 2-1 through five innings until Joe Schrimpf tied the game with a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was the first two-out hit of the game for either team and the third home run of the year for the junior from St. Louis, Mo., which is tied for second most on the team.
Louisiana-Lafayette (17-10, 7-4 SBC) answered in the top of the seventh, however, when Kennon Fontenot snuck a ball inside the foul pole down the left field line for a 3-2 lead. Tanner Kirby, who took the loss, gave up the run after having just entered the game for starting pitcher Adam Grantham.
Grantham had a solid outing and gave up just two runs in six innings of work. He issued a pair of walks to the first two batters of the game, but finished by throwing 50 of his 88 pitches for strikes. He also added four strikeouts and four walks on the afternoon.
The Ragin’ Cajuns added to their lead in the eighth inning with a two-run home run by Brad Antchak to push the advantage to 5-2 and Dylan Moore pitched the final two innings in relief for his seventh save of the year for Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Red Wolves’ hitters struggled against the Ragin’ Cajuns starter Wyatt Marks who gave up just two runs on three hits. Marks had eight strikeouts in seven innings and gave up his only runs on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Rucker in the bottom first inning and the solo home run to Schrimpf in the sixth inning.
Grantham gave way to Kirby to in the seventh inning, who gave up two runs in an inning-plus of work. Tony Ortiz entered the game in the eighth inning after Kirby issued a leadoff single and gave up the two-run home run to Antchak. Zach Haake pitched the final inning and struck out a pair.
A-State looks to claim the series Sunday at 1 p.m. against Louisiana-Lafayette at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field.