JONESBORO, Ark. (4/25/17) – The Arkansas State baseball team allowed Memphis to score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning and the Tigers held on for a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro.
A-State (20-20) reliever Tanner Kirby walked Jason Santana to begin the top of the ninth inning with the score tied 1-1 before a soft line out on a sacrifice bunt attempt and fly out to right field kept Santana at first. However, Santana advanced to second on a wild pitch and a walk put runners on first and second to bring up Tyler Webb. Webb hit a line drive into left field on a 3-2 pitch to plate Santana and put the Tigers (23-19) in front 2-1.
Alex Howard laced a single to center field with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Memphis closer Colton Hathcock picked up his 11th save of the year by retiring pinch-hitter Tobias Johnson on a ground out and Drew Tipton on a line out to right field to preserve the victory for the Tigers.
Blake Bennett picked up the win for the Tigers after tossing a scoreless bottom of the eighth despite allowing three base runners. Kirby took the loss, the first of the season for the junior, to fall to 4-1 on the year. Collin Cahill pitched the first five innings for the Red Wolves to tie a career high and allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts against four walks. Bo Ritter pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings for A-State.
Memphis scored its run off Cahill in the top of the second inning on a RBI ground out by Carlos Williams, before A-State got on the board in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Connor Alexander. Winston Welch smoked a double to right-center field to plate Jake Bakamus, but Howard was thrown out trying to score on the play from first. The RBI was the first of Welch’s career. The Red Wolves picked up six hits to the Tigers’ five with Joe Schrimpf and Howard picking up two hits.
Arkansas State returns to action with a three-game league series at Appalachian State April 28-30 in Boone, N.C. First pitch for Friday’s contest is set for 5 p.m. (CT).