Mark West: Red Wolves Host Troy, Ole Miss Needing Wins


Arkansas State sits just outside of NCAA Regional contention in my latest projection at College Baseball Central. Warren Nolan has the Red Wolves with an RPI of 49 coming into this week as the team has dropped its’ last two series but did pick up a top 50 RPI win in defeating the No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

The Red Wolves host Troy this weekend as they try to get back on the winning track. The Trojans have lost four straight and nine of 11 games coming into the series and are currently in ninth place in the Sun Belt Conference standings. A-State is 15-9 and tied for second in the Belt with Texas State who swept Troy last weekend.

The Red Wolves will be led by Matt Burgess who leads the team hitting .321 with 49 RBI and four homers. Austin Baker leads the team with six home runs, 43 runs scored, 35 walks, 11 steals and a .481 slugging percentage. Senior Zach Maggio has stepped up in conference play and is hitting .300 while leading the team in on base percentage at .412 among everyday starters.

The Trojans roll into town with a lineup of power hitters and normally the Tom is great at neutralizing power lineups. David Hall is the offensive leader for the Trojans tops on the team in average (.357), home runs (9), RBI (41), slugging percentage (.591), walks (29) and on base percentage (.453). Troy has a sparkplug in Clay Holcomb who leads the Trojans with 33 runs scored and 20 steals.

Friday night should be a treat as A-State send David Owen (5-4, 3.94 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .256 OBA, 61 K, 21BB) back to the bump hoping to put better defense behind him this time as his quality start last week was ruined by three errors that led to three unearned runs. Shane McCain (3-4, 3.53 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .221 OBA, 85 K, 38 BB) will be one of two southpaws the Red Wolves will face. McCain averages 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings but has struggled in his last few starts.

On Saturday, Bradley Wallace (3-4, 4.04 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, .280 OBA, 57 K, 20 BB) struck out 12 Cajuns last weekend and looks to continue his second half improvement having been solid in his last six outings. Wallace will face Tanner Hicks (2-8, 4.72 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, .283 OBA, 54 K, 21 BB) who has had a disappointing season after pitcher of the year honors last season.

Chandler Hawkins (3-5, 5.98 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, .291 OBA, 55 K, 20 BB) squares off with Levi Tate (2-0, 4.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .250 OBA, 23 K, 7 BB) in a battle of lefties on Sunday. Hawkins is making his first weekend start in a month, having worked primarily out of the pen while Tate is making his first ever weekend start.

Arkansas State closes out its’ home slate with a midweek game against No. 15 Ole Miss and needs to win three or four games to get its’ RPI in NCAA Regional range.

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You can read more of Mark West at College Baseball Central where he covers Arkansas State, the Sun Belt Conference and the Big 12 Conference at

Red Wolves Host Troy


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