Statesboro, GA (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball offense couldn’t solve Georgia Southern’s pitching in a 6-1 loss to the Eagles in the series finale Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro.
The Red Wolves (23-26, 11-16 SBC) managed six hits on the day, but were only able to push across a single run. Georgia Southern (35-17, 17-10 SBC) registered eight hits and scored six runs powered by two, three-run innings in the third and fifth.
A-State starter Peyton Culbertson pitched well to begin the game, but ran into trouble with two outs in the bottom of the third. He walked a batter before allowing a hit to bring up Tyler Martin. Martin swatted a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall just inside the foul pole to give the Eagles a 3-0 edge.
Grant Hawkins singled to begin the fourth inning and stole his 19th bag of the season to get into scoring position with one out. Jeremy Brown struck out, but Justin Felix was able to drive Hawkins home on a single through the left side to bring A-State within 3-1. The Red Wolves threatened in the fifth with back-to-back singles by Jake Bakamus and Derek Birginske, but a failed sacrifice bunt attempt and double play quelled the rally.
Culbertson got an out in the fifth inning, but was pulled after a walk in favor of Brandon Stuckenschneider. The left-handed reliever struck out the first batter he faced, but walked the next before a single and an error brought home two more runs for the home team. Tanner Kirby entered and allowed another run-scoring single to make the A-State deficit 6-1. The visitors wouldn’t get a runner to second base the rest of the game.
Georgia Southern starter Seth Shuman earned the win with six innings of one-run ball and allowed six hits, while striking out three and walking none. The bullpen of Adam Kelly and Anthony Paesano combined to shut out A-State over the final three innings. Culbertson took the loss after allowing four runs (all earned) in 4.1 innings of work.
Felix led the A-State offense with two hits and also reached via a base on balls. Steven Curry led the Eagles with a 2-for-4 effort, but Martin’s big fly led to a team-high three RBI. Logan Baldwin and Cal Baker also drove home runs for Georgia Southern.
Arkansas State begins a four-game home stand to finish the regular season Tuesday night with a midweek matchup against Ole Miss at Tomlinson Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.