JONESBORO, Ark. (3/4/22) – A five-run eighth inning propelled the Arkansas State baseball team to a dramatic 8-6 victory over Illinois State Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field
All five runs in the frame came with two down, as A-State (3-4) rattled off three straight RBI hits, including a pair of doubles to pull ahead of the Redbirds (4-3). The Red Wolves’ pitching staff fanned 14 Illinois State batters, with 10 of those punchouts coming out of the bullpen.
Carter Holt delivered a strong start, striking out four in five innings of work before giving way to A-State’s bullpen. Walker Williams (2-1) earned his second victory in as many games, hurling three strikeouts. Kevin Wiseman earned his first save in the Scarlet and Black, pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.
The Redbirds plated the game’s first two runs in the second, first on a throwing error that allowed Aidan Huggins to score from first. Jonathan Sabotnik then scored from second on an RBI single by Greg Nichols to put Illinois State ahead 2-0.
ISU added another in the fourth when a Tyler Woltman base hit scored Nick Gile, making it a 3-0 contest. Illinois State starter Jordan Lussier kept the Red Wolves off the board until the fourth, when Cail slapped a double down the left-field line to score Cason Tollett and Deshazier, making it 3-2.
Illinois State tacked on an unearned run in the fifth when Sabotnik singled home McCaw, who stood at second after an error. A-State got that run back in the bottom half of the inning, however, as Toler led off the inning with a solo homer to right to make it 4-3 after five.
The Redbirds added a run each in the seventh and eighth innings, owning a 6-3 lead with just four outs to go with Cail on first and two down in the bottom of the eighth. That was when the top of A-State’s order sparked the eventual game-winning rally. After Wil French coaxed a walk, Toler forced an eight-pitch walk to put two on for Klutts, who knocked the second pitch he saw the opposite way into right field, driving in the game-tying runs with a double and chasing Illinois State reliever Kolton Scherbenske (0-1).
After Erik Kubiatowicz entered the contest in relief of Scherbenske, Tollett greeted the new arm with a double into the left-center field gap to score Klutts and put the Red Wolves ahead 7-6. Tollett then came around to score on Deshazier’s opposite-field single, giving A-State an 8-6 lead entering the top of the ninth.
Enter the transfer closer Wiseman, who slammed the door with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout, clinching the victory – and his first save – for A-State.
The Red Wolves close out the three-game series with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at noon, with the second game following 35 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1. A-State is set to start Tyler Jeans and Justin Medlin in the first and second games, respectively. Both games will be broadcasted live on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3, 96.9, 104.1 and 970 AM.
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).
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2022/3/4/baseball-five-run-eighth-propels-red-wolves-past-illinois-state.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council