Photo Courtesy: A-State Athletics (John Bunch Photography)
COLUMBIA, Mo. (ASU) - The Arkansas State baseball team earned a split in a doubleheader with the Missouri Tigers Tuesday at Taylor Field. The Red Wolves lost the first game 5-1, but bounced back to win the nightcap 10-3 to secure a split in the midweek series.
A-State (15-7) broke the game two open with seven runs in the top of the eighth inning when Ryan Roberts struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning, but the ball got by the catcher and Roberts beat out the throw to first to extend the inning.
Kevin Fitzpatrick provided what proved to be a go-ahead hit with a two-out, two-RBI single that scored Ryan Emery and Claude Johnson to give the Red Wolves a 5-3 advantage. Dustin Jones pushed the lead to 7-3 with a bases loaded single to right-center field that scored Ryan Roberts and Fitzpatrick and Austin Baker followed with an opposite field RBI single to make it a five-run inning for the Red Wolves.
Collin Massanelli then cleared the bases with a double to right-center field that plated Jones and Baker for the final runs of the inning.
"It was good to see our guys bounce back the way they did," ASU head baseball coach Tommy Raffo said. "We just kept battling and we were able to string together some hits and get a lead and then were able to hang on to that lead with some good pitching late in the game."
Junior Cody Woodhouse took the mound in game two for his second start of the season and turned in a fantastic performance. Woodhouse struck out a career-high seven and gave up just one run in five innings of work. Tanner Ring, Daniel Wright and Adam Grantham combined to pitch the final four innings in relief, with Ring earning his first career victory.
A-State took its first lead of the day when Logan Uxa scored on an RBI single from Claude Johnson that put ASU up 1-0 in game two.
Missouri (7-10) came back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning when Dane Opel hit his second home of the day for Tigers. Woodhouse worked out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning when after an error put runners on the corners with two-outs, but the Mountain Home, Ark., native struck out Logan Pearson to end the inning.
The Red Wolves took the lead back with two runs in the top of the sixth inning with two runs. Uxa drove in a run when he reached on an error by the Tigers' second basemen and Johnson gave ASU a 3-1 edge when he drove in Massanelli. However, the Tigers came back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning when A-State committed its fourth and fifth errors of the game.
Derek Birginske took the loss in the day's first game despite a solid outing. The freshman went 4.1 innings and gave up three runs on just two hits.
Missouri wasted little time in getting a lead in the day's first game. The Tigers' took a 1-0 lead after the first inning and then added a run in the fourth to push the advantage to 2-0. Missouri pushed across two more runs in the fourth innings to make it a four run game.
Ryan Roberts got A-State on the board with a solo home run to right center field in the top of the seventh inning. Dustin Jones followed with a single and Stuart Levy drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs, but Fitzpatrick struck out to end the threat.
ASU will host Florida Atlantic for a three-game series at Tomlinson Stadium March 22-24. Friday night's game is set to begin at 6 p.m., while Saturday's contest is set to start at 4. Sunday's finale is slated for a 1 p.m. start.