SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (3/9/18) – The Arkansas State baseball team fell victim to the long ball early and couldn't recover in a 12-4 loss to Missouri State Friday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., to open a three-game set.
Missouri State (7-4) received two homers each from Ben Whetstone and Matt Brown to help the Bears score seven runs from the second through fourth innings. A-State (6-4) wouldn't get its first hit until Grant Hawkins led off the sixth with a single and came around to score on a RBI double by Caleb Squire. The Red Wolves appeared set to chip away at the MSU lead with runners on second and third and no outs in the frame, but Dylan Coleman struck out the side to quell the threat.
The Bears extended their lead to 8-1 with a run in the bottom of the sixth and then pushed their advantage to 12-1 with four runs on just one hit in the bottom of the seventh. A-State scored three runs in the top of the ninth when Casey Vaughan scored on an error before Andrew Lannon and Blake Wynn touched the plate on a two-run double by Tobias Johnson to set the final score of 12-4.
Coleman earned the win for the Bears with seven innings pitched and one run allowed on two hits with five walks and six punch outs. Bradey Welsh took the loss for A-State after allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings.
The Arkansas State offense was held to just three hits, but walked seven times and was hit by a pitch twice to put some runners on the bases. However, the Red Wolves ended the game with eight runners left on base. Hawkins reached base four times in five plate appearances and scored the team's first run.
Carter Holt tossed two innings and only allowed one run, while Korey Wasson tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth.
A-State and the Bears resume the series tomorrow afternoon with a first pitch of 2 p.m. scheduled.