JONESBORO, Ark. (4/7/17) – The Arkansas State baseball team scored a season-high 14 runs and got 5.1 innings of one-run ball from Bo Ritter as A-State cruised to a 14-1 win over Georgia State in the series opener Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves (16-14, 5-5 SBC) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third on a single by Joe Schrimpf that scored Tobias Johnson with Grant Hawkins coming in to score on the throw trying to get Schrimpf out at second base. The Panthers (11-18, 1-9 SBC) got on the board in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Cam Sperry to cut the A-State advantage to 2-1.
However, A-State extended the lead to 6-1 on a two-run single by Hawkins and a two-run double by Garrett Rucker in the bottom of the fifth. Ritter went out for the sixth inning and ran into a bit of trouble with runners on first and second with no outs, but struck out Justin Jones to end his outing. Tanner Kirby entered and got the final two outs of the inning.
Ritter’s final line was one earned run allowed on five hits and struck out a career-high nine against one walk as he went on to improve to 2-1 on the year. Kirby pitched 2.2 innings out of the bullpen and kept the Panthers off the scoreboard, while Chase Nix pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Red Wolves added a single run in the bottom of the sixth when Hawkins drove home his third run of the night on a single to left-center before scoring seven in the bottom of the eighth to set the final at 14-1. The home team scored two runs on bases-loaded walks, two runs on wild pitches, two runs on a double by Alex Howard, and another on a Jake Bakamus single.
Georgia State starter Bryce Conley allowed six runs (all earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts to fall to 2-6 on the year. Sperry led the Panthers with two hits as Georgia State registered six total on the night.
Johnson and Hawkins led A-State with two hits apiece, while Rucker and Hawkins led the team with three RBI. A-State registered nine hits on the night, but also walked 12 times and was hit by one pitch. Schrimpf was 1-for-1 on the night with a RBI and walked three times along with his fourth sacrifice bunt of the year. The sacrifice bunt for the senior first baseman was the 36th of his career to pass Dustin Jones’ 35 for the most in school history.
Saturday’s game against the Panthers is set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Tomlinson Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 as A-State’s Peyton Culbertson is set to face Georgia State’s Hunter Gaddis.