Photo Courtesy: A-State Athletics
JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) - The Arkansas State baseball team ended a six game losing streak with a 9-8 victory over Southeast Missouri Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium.
The Red Wolves (17-13) led 8-5 after six innings, but Southeast Missouri (15-15) scored three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 8-8. A-State took the lead back in the bottom half of the inning when Kevin Fitzpatrick scored on an RBI single from Ryan Emery to put ASU up 9-8.
Tanner Ring and Daniel Wright combined to pitch the final two innings of the game, with Wright pitching a perfect top half of the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
"We had a lot of positive things happen tonight but we still have some work to do," ASU head baseball coach Tommy Raffo said. "We had some quality at-bats from several guys tonight and we had some things going at times on the mound and we were able to get the win."
Fitzpatrick finished a home run away from the cycle and went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored on the night. He had a two-run triple in the first inning and then added an RBI single in the third. He led off the fifth inning with a double and then reached base in the seventh inning on a fielder's choice and later scored the go-ahead run after advancing two bases on a failed pickoff attempt by the Redhawks.
Ryan Roberts extended his hitting streak to 10 straight with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. The senior catcher from Pelham, Ala., had three singles and a walk in the game to continue his hot hand at the plate.
A-State scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and batted around in the inning. Roberts drove in the inning's first run with a single through the right side and Collin Massanelli followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Drew Burks drove in the first runs of his career in the next at-bat with a single that scored Roberts and Masasnelli and also chased Redhawks' starting pitcher Hank Williams, Jr. from the game.
Freshman Alex Siddle replaced Williams, Jr., and gave up a two-RBI triple to Fitzpatrick that gave ASU a 6-2 lead. It was the second triple of Fitzpatrick's career.
SEMO started the game with a pair of runs in the first inning and added two more in the top of the second off A-State starter Derek Birginske to cut the lead to 6-4. Seth McWilliams replaced Birginske and went 3 2/3 innings and gave just one run on three hits and struck out five.
Dustin Jones started a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning with a single to center and the stole second to move himself into scoring position. Fitzpatrick drove in Jones with an RBI single and then advanced to second when the Redhawks' outfielder attempted to throw out Jones at the plate. Ryan Emery drove in Fitzpatrick to push the lead to 8-4.
SEMO responded with a run in the top of the fourth inning Derek Gibson scored on a triple by Matt Tellor and then tied the score with three runs in the top of the 7th inning.
David Owen earned the first win of his career after pitching the bottom of the seventh inning, while Wright earned the fourth save of his career.
ASU will host Sun Belt Conference foe Western Kentucky for a three-game home series April 5-7. Friday night's game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., while Saturday's game will start at 4 p.m. Sunday's finale is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.