Arkansas State baseball outlasts Louisiana 16-11

Arkansas State baseball outlasts Louisiana 16-11

Fans of offensive slugfests were in for a treat Sunday afternoon at M.L. ‘Tigue’ Moore Field at Russo Park, as the Arkansas State baseball team notched a 16-11 win over Louisiana in the final game of the three-game series.

The Red Wolves (9-16, 4-5 SBC) picked up nine of their 16 runs in the seventh through ninth innings, including homers by Tyler Duncan and Jake Gish, holding off the Ragin’ Cajuns (20-12, 7-2), who belted seven of the nine combined home runs in the contest. With the win, A-State ended Louisiana’s eight-game winning streak.

Gish led the way with five RBI and a three-run homer in the ninth, while Ben Klutts posted a team-high three hits. Liam Hicks also tallied a pair of hits and Duncan drilled a key inside-the-park homer in the seventh to highlight five extra-base hits.

On the mound, A-State starter Carter Holt hurled 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out five. He did not allow a walk in the no decision. Jack Jumper tossed 2.0 innings and earned the win, striking out three batters. Kollin Stone came in to start the eighth, notching the two-inning save, punching out four hitters. Red Wolves pitchers struck out a dozen Cajuns, walking just three.

David Christie was the fourth of eight pitchers used by the Ragin’ Cajuns and took the loss in 2.0 innings, allowing four runs (all unearned) on just two hits. Connor Kimple tallied a game-high five hits while Kevin Fitzgerald belted a pair of home runs as part of a four-hit outing.

A-State touched Louisiana starter Chipper Menard for three runs in the first on a bases-clearing double by John Hoskyn, chasing Menard after just two-thirds of an inning.

The Cajuns struck for four runs in the fourth on four solo homers. CJ Willis belted an opposite-field shot to left-center to put Louisiana on the board. Then, back-to-back-to-back two-out homers by Kimple, Fitzgerald and Tyler Robertson gave the home team a 4-3 lead after four.

A pinch-hit RBI groundout by Sky-Lar Culver drove in Klutts from third to tie things at 4-all in the fifth. After Blake McCutchen coaxed a full-count walk, Gish drove in Duncan and Jaylon Deshazier with a two-run single into left to make it 6-4. The Red Wolves added another run in the sixth on a sac fly by Culver to drive in Hicks and make it 7-4.

Louisiana tied it up again in the sixth on a three-run homer by Fitzgerald to make it 7-all after six.

In the seventh, A-State tacked on four runs to lead 11-7, all with two outs. A throwing error by the Cajuns’ third baseman allowed Klutts to reach and scored Drew Tipton from second. Two pitches later, Duncan belted a long fly ball off the wall in dead centerfield and wheeled all the way around the bases for a three-run inside-the-park home run. Duncan’s homer marked the first by an A-State player since Tobias Johnson versus Troy on April 20, 2018.

The Ragin’ Cajuns responded with two more solo homers in the seventh off the bats of Nick Hagedorn and Carson Roccaforte, but Jumper ended the threat with a big strikeout. A-State responded in the eighth with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring McCutchen.

A-State tallied four insurance runs in the ninth, first on a sac fly by McCutchen to score Klutts. On the very next pitch, Gish launched a three-run homer over the wall in left field to make it 16-9.

Louisiana looked to rally in the ninth, scoring a run on an RBI single by Kimple followed by an RBI bunt single by Fitzgerald to make it 16-11 with one out. Stone then buckled down and ended the rally with a pair of strikeouts.

NEXT UP

A-State concludes its four-game road swing on Tuesday, traveling to Starkville, Mississippi, to face fourth-ranked Mississippi State. First pitch at Dudy Noble Field is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT, with the game being broadcasted live on SEC Network+ while the radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3 The Ticket.

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