Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball team raced out to a 9-2 advantage after three innings and held on for a 10-5 victory over Georgia State Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium to give A-State a conference series sweep.
The Red Wolves moved their record to 18-14 overall and 7-5 in conference play with their first home sweep of a Sun Belt Conference opponent since sweeping ULM at Tomlinson Stadium last season. Georgia State falls to 11-20 on the year and 1-11 in league play.
The Panthers plated the game’s first run on a single by Nick Gatewood in the top of the first, but A-State countered with three in the bottom half on a bases-loaded walk, RBI ground out, and error. Georgia State responded with a run in the top of the second on a RBI fielder’s choice to cut into the Red Wolves edge to make the score 3-2.
However, Arkansas State struck back quickly with a four spot to take a 7-2 advantage after two. Two runners scored on an error by the Panthers before Justin Felix singled another home. The final run of the inning came on a RBI ground out by Jake Bakamus, his second of the game. The home team added two more runs in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Joe Schrimpf and run-scoring base hit by Garrett Rucker.
Gatewood singled home a run in the top of the fifth for the Panthers to make the score 9-3 before the Red Wolves got the run back in sixth inning when Bakamus scored on a wild pitch. The Panthers added another couple of runs on another hit by Gatewood in the seventh to set the score at 10-5, which would go on to be the final.
Tyler Mitzel earned the first win of his A-State career after allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits in a career-best 6.2 innings. Tanner Kirby and Tyler Zuber combined to throw 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to end the game.
A-State tallied eight hits on the afternoon and also walked nine teams. The Red Wolves stole eight bases for the most in a single game in the last 16 years and two shy of the school record. Grant Hawkins and Bakamus stole two each and Arkansas State now has 53 steals as a team, which has already surpassed last year’s total of 48. Hawkins led the team with two hits, while Rucker and Bakamus each drove in two runs.
The GSU designated hitter, Gatewood, had an impressive day at the plate as he recorded three hits and four RBI. Jack Thompson had the other RBI for the Panthers. Starter Tanner Thomson, who was charged with the loss, only lasted 1+ innings on the bump and allowed five runs (four earned) on two hits with four walks and two punch outs. Tyler Elwer allowed four runs out of the bullpen for Georgia State in two innings.
Arkansas State returns to action Tuesday, April 11 in a midweek contest at regional rival Memphis. First pitch from FedExPark is set for 6 p.m.