JONESBORO, Ark. (2/16/18) – The Arkansas State baseball team received 7.2 innings from starter Bradey Welsh and Kyle MacDonald's solo home run was all the offense the Red Wolves needed in a 1-0 victory over Illinois State Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium to begin the 2018 campaign.
Welsh tied his career high with 7.2 shutout innings and only allowed one hit with a career-high tying eight strikeouts against one walk to earn the win. Tanner Kirby registered a hold when he got the final out of the eighth inning and the first out of the ninth. Jesse Kutzke came in to get the final two outs of the game after a Payton Lannon walk to earn his first career save.
The Red Wolves (1-0) only had two hits on the night, but both came from MacDonald with his fourth-inning long ball providing the team's only run off of Illinois State (0-1) starter Brady Huffman. Huffman tossed five innings and struck out nine while Trevor Cross and Jeff Lindgren combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Redbirds.
Nick Zouras posted the visitor's only hit in the top of the fifth inning and he advanced to second on an error with one out. However, Welsh pitched out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly ball to keep the Redbirds off the scoreboard.
The shutout was the second straight season opener the Red Wolves have won kept their opponent off the scoreboard after last season's 6-0 win versus NYIT. Head coach Tommy Raffo moved to 7-3 in season openers with the win.