Arlington, TX (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball team hung on to win the first game of a doubleheader at UT Arlington by a score of 6-4 to snap a six-game losing streak before falling to the Mavericks in the second game by a count of 4-2 Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
A-State (12-19, 4-10 SBC) got to UTA (17-17, 8-6 SBC) starter Brad Vassar right off the bat with a RBI single from Winston Welch that was followed by a two-run bomb by Grant Hawkins to make it 3-0. The Red Wolves extended the advantage to 6-0 in the third frame when Drew Tipton scored on an error before a RBI double from Welch and run-scoring single from Tobias Johnson.
The Mavericks were able to tag Bradey Welsh with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but that was all the Marshfield, Mo., native would allow. Welsh went six innings and allowed four hits with three strikeouts against one walk to pick up his fifth quality start of the season. UT Arlington scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Bo Ritter went the final 2.2 innings to earn his second save of the season and preserve Welsh’s second victory.
Welch led the team with two hits, while he and Hawkins both had two RBI. Seven of the nine players in the order had a hit as the visitors out hit the Mavs 8-6. Aaron Funk posted two hits and scored two runs for UTA, while Vassar only lasted three innings. Jordon West relieved Vassar and shut out A-State over the final six innings.
The Mavs jumped in front 1-0 in game two after Zac Cook tripled with one out and scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third. The Red Wolves responded in the top of the fifth when Hawkins singled home Tipton then later scored on an error after a base hit by Kyle MacDonald to put A-State on top 2-1. Josh Minjarez didn’t let the visitors hold the edge for long as he hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom half to tie things up at 2-2.
The game remained tied until the eighth inning when Christian Hollie was able to land a softly hit ball down the right-field line for a run-scoring double off of A-State’s third pitcher of the inning. A bases-loaded hit-by-pitch added another run for the Mavericks to make the score 4-2. Pinch hitters Casey Vaughan and Jaylon Deshazier singled off UTA closer Daniel James in the top of the ninth, but a fielder’s choice ground out ended the game and sent the teams to a doubleheader split.
Nate Alberius posted his team-high seventh quality start in the second game with two runs allowed on four hits and struck out four with one walk. Bryan Ayers took the loss after the winning run that scored on Hollie’s double reached base against him. Trae Patterson posted a quality start for UT Arlington with two runs allowed (one earned) in six innings with five hits allowed.
The Red Wolves out hit UTA 7-6, but no player on the team had more than one hit. Hawkins had the team’s lone RBI. Minjarez led the Mavs with two hits and two RBI.
Arkansas State and UT Arlington play the rubber game Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1 p.m.