MOBILE, Ala. (4/8/16) – The Arkansas State baseball team fell behind 8-0 after four innings to No. 28 South Alabama and ultimately dropped an 8-2 decision to the Jaguars Friday night at Stanky Field in Mobile, Ala.
USA (23-8, 13-0 SBC) starter Kevin Hill used the early lead to his advantage and went on to toss his third complete game of the season. He gave up two runs (both earned) on eight hits with no walks and nine strikeouts as he threw 81 of his 123 pitches for strikes.
The A-State (13-16, 4-9 SBC) pitching staff didn’t walk anyone either as Tyler Zuber and Collin Nord combined for eight strikeouts. Zuber took the loss after giving up eight runs (six earned) on 11 hits with six punch outs, while Nord was effective in relief with no runs allowed on just one hit with two strikeouts.
The Jaguars were led at the plate by Drew LaBounty’s three RBIs and three hits from Jared Barnes, while Jeremy Brown and Garrett Rucker had two hits apiece for the Red Wolves.
South Alabama got on the board early with a home run by Cole Billingsley in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 advantage. The Jaguars didn’t slow down in the bottom of the second inning with five straight singles with one out that resulted in two more Jaguars’ runs. Billingsley added another RBI on a sacrifice fly before a two-run single Drew LaBounty stretched the score to 6-0.
USA added two more runs in the fourth inning on a double and sacrifice fly to extend its advantage to 8-0. A-State was able to get on the board in the top of the seventh when Joe Schrimpf and Brown hit back-to-back doubles. Rucker singled home Brown to cut the South Alabama lead to 8-2. A-State left runners on base in each of the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t push across anymore runs to set the final at 8-2.
The Jaguars and Red Wolves resume the series Saturday at Stanky Field in Mobile, Ala., with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.