Trojans Fall To Arkansas State Baseball, 7-5

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas State (14-6, 3-0) finished off a sweep of UALR (10-10, 0-3) with a 7-5 win over the Trojans on Sunday afternoon from Gary Hogan Field. Red Wolves starting pitcher Bradley Wallace tossed six strong innings, while striking out eight batters and only allowing one run. A four-run sixth inning for Arkansas State extended its lead to 6-1 and was enough to hold off the Trojans who scored four runs over the final two innings. 

Junior Ben Crumpton paced the Trojans offensively, going 3-for-5 on the afternoon. Crumpton ended the weekend hitting .538 (7-for-13) and his performance on Sunday extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Senior Chris Burk was 2-for-5 on the day with one run scored, while senior Myles Parma was 1-for-4 including a two-run inside-the-park home run. 

Arkansas State struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Back-to-back doubles from Collin Massaneli and Ryan Emery produced the first run of the afternoon for the Red Wolves. Logan Uxa followed with an RBI-single up the middle, scoring Emery and giving ASU a 2-0 advantage over UALR. 

UALR finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning, doing all its damage with two outs and nobody on in the frame. Sophomore Sage Gasaway started the rally with a sharp single up the middle. Crumpton then lined his third hit of the afternoon to right field, advancing Gasaway to third base. Junior Austin Pfeiffer followed with a ground ball to third base, but an errant throw to second base from Claude Johnson pulled Alex Potts off the bag and allowed Crumpton to slide in safely. After five complete innings, ASU led UALR 2-1. 

The Red Wolves did not allow the Trojans to hang around long and scored four runs, all with two outs, in the top half of the sixth inning. With runners on second and third base and first base open, UALR elected to pitch to Massaneli who delivered an infield RBI-single. Ryan Emery followed with his second double of the afternoon, plating two more runs for the visitors. Arkansas State pushed across another run in the inning courtesy of a throwing error that extended the Red Wolves lead to 6-1. 

UALR starting pitcher Ethan Schlechte was credited with six runs, but only two were earned, as the junior threw six complete innings with six strikeouts.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, UALR did its best to mount a comeback. After a double down the left field line by Burk, Parma lined a base hit to centerfield. Massaneli, the Arkansas State centerfielder, dove for the line drive, but his efforts fell short as the ball got passed him and trickled all the way to wall. As a result, Parma circled the bases for his first home run of the season. After junior Bryson Thionnet drew a walk, freshman pinch-hitter Ryan Scott roped an RBI-double down the left field line. A three-run frame by UALR cut its deficit to two runs heading into the final inning. 

Arkansas State added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning courtesy of a double from Logan Uxa and an RBI-single from Claude Johnson, extending its lead to 7-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, an RBI-double to right center from senior John Clark scored Blake Johnson, who singled earlier in the inning, and brought the score to 7-5. With two outs and runners on the corners, UALR brought the tying run to the plate, but Arkansas State closer John Koch struck out Thionnet to end the game.

UALR returns to action on Tuesday, March 19 when they travel for a midweek game against Louisiana Tech. First pitch from Ruston is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Tags: , , , ,