Arkansas State baseball falls to Troy in series opener
In the opening game of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series, the Arkansas State baseball team dropped a 12-4 decision at Troy Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
The Red Wolves (16-26, 8-11 SBC) could not manage to hold an early lead, as the Trojans (25-21, 11-8) picked up late runs to reclaim and expand their lead to take the opening contest.
Three Red Wolves recorded multiple hits. Ben Klutts extended his hitting streak to nine games, reaching base three times with two hits. Jaylon Deshazier tallied a pair of singles, as did Jared Toler. Liam Hicks drew a walk in the fifth, stretching his team-best on-base streak to 18 games.
A-State starter Brandon Hudson struck out six batters in five innings of work, taking the loss. The Red Wolves used four pitchers out of the bullpen, with Phillip Bryant tossing a scoreless eighth.
Nic Nolan led Troy with a game-high three hits while Donovan Whibbs and Rigsby Mosley tallied a pair of hits. Drew Frederic and Caleb Bartolero recorded three RBI apiece, with Mosley and Whibbs driving in two. Every batter in the Trojans’ order scored at least one run on the night, led by Clay Stearns’ three runs scored.
Troy starter Garrett Gainous notched the win, striking out 10 in six innings while walking just one and allowing all four of A-State’s runs.
A-State led 2-0 early on an RBI single by Klutts in the first, followed by a solo homer to lead off the second by Sky-Lar Culver – his fifth of the year.
The Trojans responded with a run in the second on an RBI double by Nolan, then added two more in the third to take a 3-2 lead on back-to-back triples by Logan Cerny and Mosley before a sac fly by Bartolero scored Mosley.
A run-scoring single by Blake McCutchen plated Deshazier in the fourth to knot up the contest at 3-all before Troy reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. A bases-loaded walk to Cerny plated Stearns, and then a fifth-inning leadoff solo shot by Bartolero made it 5-3 after five.
Duncan launched his 10th homer of the year to lead off the sixth, giving him 50 RBI on the season. Troy would counter with three insurance runs in the bottom half of the frame to stretch its lead out to 8-4. The Trojans added four more runs in the seventh on a single by Nolan and a three-run homer by Frederic to put the game out of reach.
A-State looks to even up the series Saturday, with first pitch set for 3 p.m. CT on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3 The Ticket.
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