Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics
NORMAL, Ill. (3/28/21) – Offensive fireworks stole the show on Sunday for Arkansas State baseball, as the Red Wolves scored 20 total runs in the 14 innings en route to splitting two contests at Illinois State to conclude the three-game non-conference series.
A-State opened Sunday by finishing Saturday’s contest that was suspended in the fourth (tied 2-2) due to rain and battled back to cut a 9-2 deficit down to 9-8, but the Redbirds closed out game two of the series with a 10-8 victory.
In the second game, the Red Wolves (5-14) saw that momentum carry over as they cranked out a season-high 19 hits en route to a 13-6 win over the Redbirds (7-14) in the series finale. Liam Hicks led all players with a career-best four hits and reached base five times in six plate appearances.
GAME 1 – ILLINOIS STATE 10, ARKANSAS STATE 9
A-State’s first contest of the day was halted midway through on Saturday due to rain, forcing the completion on Sunday. The Red Wolves were tied at 2-all with the Redbirds in the bottom of the fourth when play resumed on Sunday.
The Redbirds picked up three runs in the fifth off to reclaim a 5-2 lead, then one more in the sixth on a wild pitch. Illinois State would make it a 9-2 lead in the seventh on a two-run homer by Ryan Cermak and then an error scoring Hayden Jones.
The Red Wolves would not go away, though, making it a 9-8 contest with a six-run eighth that included RBI doubles by Sky-Lar Culver and Parker Rowland and capped off by a grand slam by Drew Tipton. A solo homer by Jordan Libman in the bottom of the inning made it a 10-8 deficit for A-State with three outs to go.
In the ninth, Tyler Duncan took the first pitch into left field for a leadoff double before Jaylon Deshazier drove him in with an RBI single. An error on the play then allowed Deshazier to reach second, putting the tying run on with one out. The Redbirds were able to get out of trouble, however, as a strikeout and flyout ended the contest.
Derek Salata picked up the one-pitch save by forcing the flyout while Mason Burns earned the win for Illinois State after starting the fifth on the mound. Brandon Anderson took the mound for A-State to pitch the fourth, taking the loss.
Tipton, Hicks, Culver and Deshazier led A-State with two hits apiece.
GAME 2 – ARKANSAS STATE 13, ILLINOIS STATE 6
A-State churned out a season-best 19 hits in the series finale, scoring five of its 13 runs in the ninth inning to defeat Illinois State 13-6. Six Red Wolves tallied multiple hits, led by Hicks, who recorded four base knocks and reached base five times in six plate appearances.
Tipton and Blake McCutchen each notched three hits while Duncan and Deshazier posted a pair. Tipton and Deshazier both drove in a game-high three runs.
The Red Wolves opened up with a 3-0 lead after scoring a run in the first and two in the second. Illinois State responded with six unanswered runs, including a four-run fifth inning before A-State opened up the floodgates.
In the sixth, an RBI groundout by Ben Klutts and two-run homer by Deshazier tied up the contest at 6-all. A-State then tacked on two more in the seven on back-to-back RBI singles by Tipton and Hicks.
Contagious hitting was the definition of the Red Wolves’ ninth, as the Scarlet and Black strung together six hits for five runs to lead 13-6. Olson led off with a stand-up triple and then scored on a sac fly by Tipton. Klutts then sent a towering home run over the left-field wall before Duncan reached on a double.
Deshazier then powered a double to left to drive in Duncan, followed by another RBI double, this time off the bat of Culver. An RBI single by Jared Toler rounded out A-State’s scoring for the day. Illinois State threatened with bases loaded in the ninth, but Kollin Stone worked around the jam to end it with three strikeouts.
Walker Williams earned the win for A-State, his second of the year, pitching 2.0 shutout innings and allowing just one hit.
A-State returns home for its Sun Belt Conference home opener, hosting Little Rock in a three-game series beginning Thursday, April 1. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN+ with the radio broadcast on 95.3 The Ticket.
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