JONESBORO, Ark. (4/20/18) – Arkansas State connected for back-to-back home runs in the third inning, but Troy rallied to score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning as the Red Wolves fell to the Trojans 4-3 Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium.
The game was tied at 3-3 entering the ninth inning, but after a one-out double chased Bo Ritter from the game, A-State (12-22, 4-12 SBC) Peyton Culbertson entered and struck out the first batter he faced, but then threw 10 straight balls, including hitting Brandon Lockridge with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run.
Ritter (1-1) took the loss despite a solid outing in relief of Bradey Welsh. Ritter struck out two and worked out of jams in both the seventh and eighth inning to keep the score tied at 3-3. Welsh went 6.1 innings and struck out seven. He gave up three runs, all earned and scattered nine hits.
The Trojans (26-12, 9-7 SBC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with runs in the both the first and second innings, but A-State cut the deficit in half in the second inning when Cullen Ray drove in a run on a short sacrifice fly into right field that allowed Drew Tipton to slide into home safely.
Jeremy Brown tied the game in the third inning with a solo home run to left field and Tobias Johnson followed in the next at-bat with a deep shot to right center field that ricocheted off the wall that allowed the senior to collect A-State’s first inside-the-park home run since Feb. 25, 2017 when Brown accomplished the feat at Northwestern State.
Arkansas State continued to lead until the sixth inning when Rigsby Mosley tripled to center field and scored when the throw to third base sailed into the dugout, allowing Mosley to score easily.
The Red Wolves had an opportunity in the seventh inning to take the lead back after Ray singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a ground out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.
The series continues Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader set to begin at 2 p.m. with the second game set to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first. Tomorrow’s second game will air on ESPN3.