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Hicks homers twice to lift A-State to series sweep at Austin Peay

Hicks became the first Red Wolf since Kyle MacDonald on May 17, 2018, to homer twice in a ballgame.
Credit: Robert Smith - APSU Athletics

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Liam Hicks homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs, as the Arkansas State baseball team completed a road sweep with a 9-4 win over Austin Peay Sunday at Raymond C. Hand Park.

The Red Wolves (14-22) trailed twice, including 4-3 into the eighth, but scored twice in the eighth and four times in the ninth to finish the sweep of the Governors (15-27). With the win, A-State extended its winning streak to four games and won the series finale for the sixth series in a row.

Hicks became the first Red Wolf since Kyle MacDonald on May 17, 2018, to homer twice in a ballgame. The Toronto native was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and a sacrifice fly, going 7-for-13 for the series with five RBI, seven runs and three extra-base hits. He also slugged at an impressive 1.077 clip.

Including Hicks, the top three hitters in the order combined for six of A-State's eight hits, with Drew Tipton and Ben Klutts each recording a pair of hits. Tipton scored all three times he reached base with a pair of RBI. A-State hitters only struck out four times

Carter Holt hurled his third straight quality start, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings of work. Brandon Anderson then pitched three shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out three to earn the win. The duo combined for five strikeouts and just one walk in the victory.

Garrett Spain led Austin Peay at the plate with two hits and two runs scored, one of four Governors to tally two hits. On the mound, starter Drew McIllwain tossed seven innings and allowed three runs on four hits with four strikeouts. Reliever Nolan O'Shoney took the loss, pitching the eighth and allowing the go-ahead runs.

Hicks gave A-State an early lead in the first with a one-out solo homer to center – his third of the year. The Governors then plated a run in both the first and second on RBI singles to take a 2-1 lead.

McIllwain then retired 15 of the next 16 until the sixth, when Tipton tied the game at 2-all on a solo home run to center – his seventh of the season. Klutts then delivered a two-out double and was driven home by an RBI single up the middle by Tyler Duncan to give A-State the 3-2 lead.

The Governors reclaimed a 4-3 lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Spain led off the inning with a solo homer, then an RBI single by Matt Joslin drove in Malcolm Tipler to give Austin Peay the lead through six.

With one on and one out in the eighth, Hicks powered his second home run of the contest, this time a no-doubter to right field, to give A-State the 5-4 lead.

The Red Wolves added insurance in the ninth, plating four runs to extend their lead out to 9-4. Will Huber drew a pinch-hit walk, then ultimately scoring from third on a wild pitch. A single by Tipton then scored Blake McCutchen before the sac fly by Hicks plated Jared Toler. A-State closed out the scoring when Tipton touched home on a passed ball.

Anderson then faced runners at the corners with two outs, but a fly out ended the threat and sealed the victory.

NEXT UP

A-State closes out its eight-game road swing on Tuesday night, traveling to Oxford, Mississippi, for a showdown at No. 12 Ole Miss. First pitch at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. The radio broadcast can be heard on 95.3 The Ticket.