HATTIESBURG, Miss. (4/30/23) – Southern Miss recorded four innings with four runs scored on Sunday afternoon, as the Arkansas State baseball team dropped a 17-7 eight-inning decision at Pete Taylor Park.
A-State (15-25, 5-14 SBC) struck first with two runs, but the Golden Eagles (28-15, 14-7) powered to past the Scarlet and Black with five of seven combined home runs in the game.
Brandon Hager went 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning solo shot, his 10th of the year and 20th of his career. The junior moved into a tie for ninth in program history while also extending his career-long on-base streak to 31 games. Jared Toler also homered for the Red Wolves, hitting a pinch-hit solo homer in the eighth.
Allen Grier (2-for-3) and Kody Darcy (2-for-4) combined for four of A-State’s eight hits, with Grier scoring twice.
Blake Johnson hit two of USM’s five round trippers, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Carson Paetow drove in five runs in a 3-for-5 day with three runs and a grand slam. Matthew Etzel had three hits and two runs scored, including the game-ending three-run homer in the eighth.
Arlon Butts (2-4) took the loss for A-State, pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief, while Isaiah Rhodes pitched two shutout innings of relief for the Golden Eagles.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Darcy and Daedrick Cail plated Blake Burris and Hager in the top of the first to give the Red Wolves an early 2-0 lead, but the hosts fired back with four in the bottom half. A sacrifice fly by Christopher Sargent scored Dustin Dickerson before Reece Ewing hit a three-run homer to right, making it 4-2.
A-State leveled the score with two in the top of the second when Grier and Nathan VerMaas scored on an infield single by Burris, who advanced all the way to third by way of a throwing error on the play.
The Golden Eagles retook an 8-4 lead with a four-run third, all four runs coming with two outs. Ewing scored on a two-out double by Paetow, who then came around to score on a two-run homer by Johnson. Etzel continued the inning with a bunt single, and then stole second before advancing on a throwing error. Dickerson lined a single to plate Etzel before a groundout ended the frame.
A fourth-inning grand slam by Paetow upped Southern Miss’ advantage to 12-4 ahead of back-to-back scoreless frames by Kevin Wiseman and Jake Algee.
Hager’s solo blast to right made it 12-5 in the seventh, but Johnson answered with a leadoff shot in the bottom half made it 13-5.
In the eighth, Toler drove the first pitch of his pinch-hit at-bat 419 feet over the right-field wall for his first homer of the year before Grier tripled to center and scored on a groundout, putting the count at 13-7.
An RBI double by Johnson scored Nick Monistere before Etzel ended the contest with a three-run shot to right.
The Red Wolves return home to open a five-game home stand, hosting Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The contest will be broadcasted on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3, 96.9 and 970 AM in Jonesboro, as well as online at 953theticket.com.
For the latest on A-State Baseball, follow the team by liking Arkansas State Baseball on Facebook, as well as following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (astatebaseball).
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A-State Drops 17-7 Sunday Decision to Southern Miss. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council