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Arkansas State baseball hosts ULM in final Sun Belt series of 2021

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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ARKANSAS STATE (17-27, 9-12 SBC) vs ULM (24-23, 9-12)

Thursday, May 20-Saturday, May 22, 2021

6:00 PM CT (Thurs.) | 6:00 PM CT (Fri.) | 1:00 PM CT (Sat.)

Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field • Jonesboro, Ark.

Newstalk 101.3/KBTM-AM 1230 / ESPN+

Listen ESPN+ (Thursday) ESPN+ (Friday) ESPN+ (Saturday)

PITCHING PROBABLES

THURSDAY: RHP Brandon Hudson (4-2, 4.78 ERA, 49.0 IP, 34 K) vs LHP Cam Barlow (7-4, 4.03 ERA, 58.0 IP, 54 K)

FRIDAY: RHP Will Nash (3-5, 3.98, 54.1 IP, 37 K) vs RHP Steve Owings (1-0, 5.79, 18.2 IP, 15 K)

SATURDAY: TBA vs LHP Tyler Lien (3-2, 4.33, 35.1 IP, 25 K)

LEADING OFF

The 2021 campaign marks the program’s 74th season with the Red Wolves amassing a 1,351-1,666-10 all-time record dating back to the 1948 season.

The Red Wolves are taking on ULM for the final regular-season series before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

A-State leads the all-time series versus the Warhawks 39-33, but ULM has claimed four of the last six meetings.

Liam Hicks was added to the Buster Posey Award Watch List, which awards the top catcher in college baseball. Hicks has reached base in 50 of his 52 career games at Arkansas State, and leads the Sun Belt (43rd NCAA) in on-base percentage (.488). He enters the weekend inside the top five in the Sun Belt in six offensive categories.

A-State pitching has tossed eight quality starts in its last 12 weekend games, including four by Will Nash, who hurled a complete game at Troy on May 15.

A-State enters the weekend first in the conference in runs per game (6.1) and on-base percentage (.366), third in total runs scored (254) and fourth in homers (47).

Drew Tipton is rising up the Arkansas State career charts in multiple categories. Tipton also ranks inside the top 50 among the NCAA’s active career leaders in six statistics.

Tyler Duncan currently ranks inside the top 10 in the conference in nine offensive categories - top 40 nationally in two.

LAST TIME OUT

Arkansas State once again emerged victorious on Sunday, salvaging the final game of a three-game series at Troy, winning 9-5 at Riddle-Pace Field.

The Red Wolves mounted to an early 9-1 lead and fought off a comeback attempt by the Trojans to win their seventh Sunday contest in a row.

Carter Holt picked up the win in six innings of work before giving way to the A-State bullpen, which worked a perfect seventh through ninth innings on the arms of Jake Algee, Jack Jumper and Kollin Stone.

LIAM *STICKS*

Liam Hicks owns a Sun Belt-best on-base percentage of .488, reaching base in 49 of 51 games in his A-State career including his first 31 before not reaching on 4/10 at Louisiana. His batting average of .368 also ranks a close third in the league, entering the final weekend in contention for the conference regular-season batting title. He has reached base in 19 of the last 20 games.

The Toronto native ranks near the top in several offensive categories in the Sun Belt and is inside the top 30 nationally in on-base percentage (16th) and hitting (30th).

Since April 1 (25 games), Hicks is hitting .351 and slugging .557 with eight doubles and four home runs.

On April 14, Hicks was named No. 23 on D1 Baseball’s Top 100 Draft-Eligible Hitters using analytics - the highest-ranked of four Sun Belt hitters. The list evaluated on a scale of 50-100 hitters’ plate discipline (Hicks: 90.01), hit ability (ability to hit/get on base: 88.80) and game power (XBH; power in-game: 77.26).

DUNCAN AT THE DISH

Tyler Duncan has had a breakout season at the plate for Arkansas State. The senior ranks inside the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference in nine categories and is among the top 40 in the NCAA in RBI (25th - 52) and RBI per game (36th - 1.18).

The Sooke, British Columbia, native is on pace to put up career-best numbers that surpass his first two seasons in Jonesboro. Duncan’s 52 RBI is the best by an A-State hitter since 2014 (Matt Burgess - 58). His 10 homers has surpassed his previous two years’ total, while his 11 doubles is one away from the 12 he tallied in 2019 and 2020. Duncan is also slugging at a .576 clip, while his average (.322) is currently a career best.

Duncan is among the top Canadians in college baseball offensively, ranking second in hits (57), fourth in doubles (11) and third in homers (10).

“THE ELDER STATESMAN”

Drew Tipton is the longest-serving active A-State player on the 2021 roster, having been on the team since the 2016 season. He is also rising up the career charts in several categories: games played (6th - 211), games started (6th* - 204), at-bats (4th - 750), runs scored (2nd - 165), walks (5th - 111), hit-by-pitch (T4th - 40), stolen bases (4th - 60).

Tipton is among the top 50 among the NCAA Division active career leaders in six categories entering Friday - runs scored (11th - 165), stolen bases (20th - 60), hit-by-pitch (27th - 40), walks (27th - 111), games played (45th - 211) and at-bats (46th-750).

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