Caskey hits walk-off HR, Arkansas State baseball rallies to beat Little Rock
Brayden Caskey slapped a one-out solo home run to left in the bottom of the ninth, completing the Arkansas State baseball team’s 9-8 comeback victory over rival Little Rock Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.
A-State (17-28) trailed 8-4 through six innings, but Caskey’s blast capped a five-run rally in the final three frames to secure his team’s sixth consecutive victory over the Trojans (27-18). The round tripper marked A-State’s first walk-off homer since Alex Howard on Feb. 24, 2019, versus Valparaiso.
The Red Wolves out-hit the visitors 10-8, with six of those hits going for extra bases. Caskey went 2-for-3 and scored twice while driving in three RBIs with both hits for extra bases, as he also tripled in a pair of runs in the Red Wolves’ four-run first inning.
John Hoskyn joined Caskey with a multi-hit performance, going 2-for-4 with a double. Brandon Hager reached base four times, going 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored, to extend his on-base streak to 36 games. Daedrick Cail notched a multi-RBI day with two on a hit and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Arlon Butts (3-4) earned the win in relief, working a perfect top of the ninth with a swinging strikeout to end the frame. He was one of six A-State relievers in the contest behind starter Jakob Frederick. Jake Henry Williams tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts, one of four hurlers to pitch shutout appearances.
A first-inning solo homer by Tyler Williams gave the Trojans an early 1-0 lead, which A-State quickly erased with a four-run frenzy in the bottom half. The first four batters reached base, with Blake Burris scoring on a single by Cail. An RBI single by Cross Jumper drove in Hager and then Caskey tripled home Cail and Jumper to make it 4-1 through one.
In the second inning, Little Rock pushed across five runs to reclaim a 6-4 lead. Skyler Trevino led off the frame with a solo shot before an RBI single by Jake Wright scored Noah Brewer, who went 2-for-4 with a walk. One pitch later, Alex Seguine deposited a three-run blast over the left-center field wall.
The Trojans tacked on a run when Ty Rhoades scored on a fourth-inning passed ball, while a sacrifice squeeze play in the fifth inning by Christian Bernabe drove in Trevino to make it 8-4 for Little Rock hurler Hoss Brewer. The reliever kept the Red Wolves’ offense in check in his six innings on the hill, allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out three and walking two.
After Austin Brock stranded two runners in scoring position in the seventh, A-State got a run back when Hager doubled and then scored when Cail reached on a throwing error. Jake Algee worked around two base runners in the eighth before the Red Wolves knotted up the affair with a three-run surge.
Caskey (walk) and Hoskyn (single) reached to put runners at the corners for Allen Grier, who doubled home Caskey to pull the hosts within two with the tying run in scoring position. Hager later walked with the bases loaded, pushing home pinch-runner Cason Campbell, and Cail’s sac fly scored Grier to even the score.
Butts made quick work of the side in the top of the ninth to put the Scarlet and Black back at the plate. Following a tough nine-pitch at-bat by Jumper, Caskey connected on a 1-0 pitch from Austin Stubber (5-1), sending it over the left-field wall before trotting into the mob of Red Wolves behind home plate.
Arkansas State is set for its penultimate Sun Belt Conference series, traveling to Appalachian State for a pivotal three-game set. First pitch of Friday’s series opener is slated for 5 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The radio broadcasts of all three games can be heard on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3, 96.9 and 970 AM in Jonesboro, as well as online at 953theticket.com.
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