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.
Jaylon Deshazier and Daedrick Cail each tallied three hits to lead the Red Wolves, while Ben Klutts’ lone hit of the night was one of the biggest – a game-tying three-run double in the eighth.
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