Mark West: Miscues Costly But Red Wolves Avoid Sweep to Louisiana Lafayette


JONESBORO, Ark. – Arkansas State had an uncharacteristically sloppy weekend against No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette but in the end would pick up a huge win on Sunday in terms of RPI. The Red Wolves committed seven errors in the series this weekend that led to seven runs for the Cajuns and had and handful of base-running gaffes that took runs off the board for A-State.

Game 1 – No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette 6, A-State 5

Louisiana Lafayette capitalized on Red Wolves miscues to take game one of the set. The Cajuns grabbed the early lead with an RBI double off the wall in left field for a 1-0 lead in the third. An error in the fourth turned a one-run inning into a two-run inning for the Cajuns who extended their lead to 3-0.

Zach Maggio drew a lead-off walk in the home half of the inning but was picked off first base. Austin Baker followed with a double which would have moved Maggio to third and then Matt Burgess clubbed the series’ only homer to cut the lead to 3-2. Errors and miscues have cost two runs at this point.

After a pair of one out singles in the fifth, Burgess overthrew second on a double play attempt that allowed all runners to advance and an unearned run to score. Another run would score on a wild pitch as ULL pushed the lead to 5-2.

In the sixth, a throwing error led to another Cajuns run making the score 6-2. However, the Red Wolves would rally in the seventh with three runs, two on RBI doubles by Ty Michelotti and Dustin Jones and the other on a single by Joe Schrimpf.

A-State would threaten again in the eighth, but Baker’s sac bunt attempt was popped up and ULL’s Ryan Wilson made the catch and doubled of Maggio at first to end the threat.

A-State’s three errors led to three runs and three base-running miscues cost them opportunities to threaten one of the nation’s top teams as ULL hangs on for a 6-5 win.

Game 2No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette 7, A-State 0

A-State committed two more errors leading to two more Cajuns runs on a day where their offense never really mounted a threat due to the stellar pitching of Carson Baranik.

A throwing error on a strike out and a fielding error on a single lead to two second inning runs for the Cajuns as they plated three in the inning for a 3-0 lead. The Cajuns continued to flex their offensive muscle with timely hitting and small ball to eventually push seven runs across in the game.

Baranik faced one over the minimum and allowed only two baserunners on the day and one was erased on a double play. No A-State runner made it to second base.

Bradley Wallace set a career high striking out 12 Cajun hitters and Cody Woodhouse struck out five of his own as A-State pitching struck out a Cajuns’ season high 17 hitters. In spite of the effort, the Red Wolves fall 7-0.

Game 3 – A-State 6, No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette 4

A-State overcame two early errors to pull out a late win and avoid the series sweep. The Cajuns got their first run on a wild pitch by Tanner Gaines with the bases loaded for a 1-0 lead. Two more errors in the fourth lead to two more runs as ULL built a 3-0 lead.

A-State would cut the lead to one on an RBI single by Stuart Levy and a bases loaded walk by Lucas Feddersen in the fourth. The Cajuns extended the lead to 4-2 with a sixth inning RBI single.

The Red Wolves would rally in the seventh loading the bases on two walks and a hit batsman and Burgess would draw an RBI walk to cut the lead to one. Levy then hit a double with the bases jacked that scored two as A-State took a 5-4 lead.

Tyler Zuber against Louisiana LafayetteZach Maggio would score on a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to add an insurance run pushing the lead to 6-4. Freshman Tyler Zuber allowed a lead-off single in the ninth then got a pop out a pop out before clean-up hitter Tyler Girouard hit a warning track shot that Derek Birginske squeezed for out two.

After issuing a walk to put runners on first and second, Zuber uncorked a wild pitch that advanced both runners into scoring position before getting the final out on a comebacker to clinch the Red Wolves win 6-4.

Arkansas State (27-21, 15-9 Sun Belt) is clinging to a one game lead over Texas State for second place in the Sun Belt and now sits six games behind No. 2 Louisiana Lafayette who will clinch the Sun Belt Conference regular season title with their next win.

Players of the Series: Matt Burgess (So., 1B) 3-for-9, HR, 2 BB, SH, 2 R, 3 RBI, .333 AVG, .455 OBA, .667 SLG, 1.122 OPS

Co-Pitchers of the Series: Tyler Zuber (Fr., RHP) W, 1-0, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2BB, 2 K, 1.67 WHIP; Bradley Wallace (Sr., RHP) L, 0-1, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.43 WHIP

A-State defeated Murray State in midweek action, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to win 7-6.

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