MILLINGTON, Ten. – Arkansas State Red Wolves’ starter Chandler Hawkins (So., LHP) pitched six innings allowing three earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four to put the Red Wolves in position for the win. Unfortunately, a lack of timely hitting cost the Red Wolves as they fall to the Creighton Bluejays 5-4 and lose the series.
Arkansas State head coach Tommy Raffo said, “Chandler was good, brought three pitches. What he did for us was quality and I’ll take that, it’s positive.” about Hawkins quality start on Sunday as the Red Wolves sought to split the first two games of this “home” series that is being played in at USA Stadium in Millington, Ten.
Crieghton opened the scoring in the second as Landon Lucansky (Jr., DH) smacked a shot over the wall in left field for a solo home run and the early 1-0 lead. Bluejays’ starter Austin Groth (So., RHP) held Arkansas State in check early on. However the Red Wolves would get to him in the fourth.
After a Stuart Levy (Jr., C) double moved Matt Burgess (So., 1B), who had reached on a throwing error by Bluejays short stop Ryan Fitzgerald (So.), to third Joe Schrimpf (Fr., 3B) would knock in Burgess for his first RBI on the day. Schrimpf reached on a throwing error by Fitzgerald as well. Levy would score on a wild pitch to take the lead at 2-1. Colin Massanelli (Jr., LF) would score on a two-out single by Zach Maggio (Sr., DH) after being hit by a pitch with the bases empty after a double-play to extend the Red Wolves lead to 3-1.
The lead held until the sixth when Bluejay clean-up hitter Mike Gerber (Sr., CF) hit a two-run shot over the right field wall to tie the game at two. Arkansas State’s Lucas Feddersen (Jr., 2B) would single and then swipe second to lead of the seventh inning and would score on Schrimpf’s two-out single for his second RBI on the day to retake the lead for the Red Wolves at 4-3.
Red Wolves reliever Colton Kibbler (Jr., RHP) came on in relief of Hawkins and retired five straight hitters before allowing a single to Creighton pinch hitter Joey Mancuso (RSo.). Coulton Lee came on with two outs to face Gerber and gave up a two-out, two-run double as Creighton recaptured the lead at 5-4.
Arkansas State would load the bases in the seventh and ninth innings only to strand the runners as the Red Wolves would fall 5-4.
Coach Raffo said, “It’s a tough one…We just weren’t able to execute a couple things and it cost us late.” Raffo further stated that, “We just haven’t been able to finish the ball game…we’re putting ourselves in position just not getting it done.”
The Red Wolves look to David Owen (So., RHP), who struck out 10 in earning the sweep-averting win last weekend, to salvage a win in this series on Monday night.
Levy went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Maggio went 2 for 5 with an RBI. Schrimpf went 1 for 4 with two RBI.
Other Sun Belt Action
Samford 6, Louisiana Monroe 5, 10 innings
Louisiana is swept, 3-0, by the Bulldogs and will host their in-state rival No. 9 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns next week to open conference play.
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Stat Leaders
- Carey Taylor (Sr., RHP) 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- Jeff Fuller (Sr., 2B) 2 for 5, 2 RBI
- Keelin Rasch (Jr., 1B) 2 for 4, R, RBI
Abilene Christian 2, UT Arlington 1
UT Arlington is 1-2 at the Hilton Invitational and will finish with Utah on Monday before travelling to San Marcos to battle in-state Texas State Bobcats to open conference play.
UT Arlington Mavericks Stat Leaders
- Brad Vachon (Sr., RHP) 9.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
- John Michael Twichell (Sr., RF) 1 for 3, R
- Greg McCall (Sr., C) 1 for 4, RBI