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Red Wolves baseball loses series 2-1 against Georgia State

By Aaron League
On April 28, 2014

The Arkansas State Red Wolves team went into its series against Georgia State, looking to build momentum in Sun Belt Conference play as they continued to battle it out near the top of the standings.

The baseball squad however, saw their Sun Belt Conference five-game winning streak snapped on Friday night by a final of 5-1 in game one of the series against the Georgia State Panthers on Friday night in Atlanta.

On a night where the offense was stagnant, A-State sophomore pitcher David Owens surrendered only two runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings, but needed 112 pitches to do so.

Georgia State starting pitcher Kenny Anderson fared better, going seven innings on the bump, while limiting the Red Wolves to one run on four hits.

Though he only struck out one batter, Anderson was credited with getting 11 fly ball outs.

The Red Wolves also made critical errors on the base paths, getting picked off a total of four times on the night.

The biggest error came after A-State put runners on first and second in the top of the first inning.

After sophomore outfielder Austin Baker and first baseman Matt Burgess drew back to back walks, Baker was picked off second to end the threat.

The lone bright spot offensively for Arkansas State came from Burgess, who went two for three on the night, driving in the Red Wolves only run.

By reaching base, Baker also extended his on-base streak to twenty-five games.

The second game of the series involved heartbreak for the baseball squad.

The team carried a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth before surrendering four runs in the final three innings, leading to a 7-6 gut wrenching loss on Saturday afternoon.

A-State carried a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth before running into significant trouble.

Senior pitcher Morgan Croft walked three of the four batters he faced, giving up a run on a wild pitch.

Junior pitcher Colton Kibler took his place and promptly surrender an RBI single on the only pitch he threw to knot the game at six.

After A-State went scoreless in the top half of the 10th, the Panthers won in the bottom half.

Matt Rose led off the inning with a single, followed by David Levy roping a single down the left field line, driving in Rose to seal the Red Wolves’ fate.

Senior pitcher Bradley Wallace gave a decent start for the Red Wolves on the mound, tossing seven innings while surrendering three runs on seven hits while striking out five.

Junior catcher Stuart Levy tallied two hits and two RBI’s in four at-bats, while also scoring a run.

Freshman infielder Joe Schrimpf also tallied two hits in four trips, while tallying an RBI.

The final day of the weekend triple header seemed to be going the same as the previous two when the Panthers took a 4-2 lead into the 7th inning.
The top of the 7th would be all Red Wolves though and they took their frustration out on the Panthers to the tune of 8 runs before Georgia state stopped the bleeding.
Baker drove in two runs to tie the game up at 4-4, followed by a Burgess howler that drove in an aditional two runs to move A-State into a 6-4 lead.
Schrimpf and sophomore outfielder Kevin Fitzpatrick each drove in a run, and finally seniro short stopDustin Jones hit a triple to make the score 10-4 after the 7th.
Georgia State would not go down quietly, however, and gained two runs in the 8th to cut the lead to 10-6.
Freshman pitcher Tyler Zuber held strong for the Red Wolves in the end, striking out SBC home run leader Nic Wilson, and taking the 10-6 win for the Red Wolves.

With the win, A-State moves to 25-19, 14-7 Sun Belt, which puts them in second place. The Red Wolves will look to continue their winning ways at 6:30 p.m on Tuesday when they take on the Murray State Racers in Jonesboro.
After this matchup, A-State will begin what could be one of their most important series of the season when they take on consensus top 10 in the nation , and first in the Sun Belt, Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will be coming to The Tom at 6 p.m. this Friday. A-State nation needs to come out strong for the weekend triple header as the Red Wolves could move to a game from first place with a series sweep.

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