JONESBORO, Ark. (4/6/23) – Arkansas State baseball could not push across the game-tying run from third base in the ninth, dropping a 6-5 outcome to Troy Thursday night at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.
The Red Wolves (9-17, 1-7 SBC) worked a leadoff walk and advanced the runner to third with two outs, but a strikeout swinging clinched the series-opening win for the Trojans (21-10, 5-5). Both sides combined to strand 25 runners, with Troy leaving 13 on base and A-State stranding a dozen.
A-State out-hit Troy 11-9, with the top four batters in the order combining for eight of those hits. Wil French doubled twice, while Brandon Hager and Kody Darcy also doubled.
Hunter Draper struck out a career-high six Trojan hitters in five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits before the Scarlet and Black utilized four relievers. Arlon Butts (2-2) finished the final two innings, striking out two and allowing a run on two hits.
Troy struck first in the top of the first on an RBI single by William Sullivan, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. A-State answered in the bottom of the frame when Hager and Darcy hit back-to-back two-out doubles to tie it at a run each.
Both starting pitchers settled in, with Troy’s Brady Fuller working six innings and striking out seven to just one walk. Fuller allowed four runs on eight hits in the no-decision. The Trojans reclaimed a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a solo shot by Tremayne Cobb, Jr., but a flyout and double play limited the damage.
Troy upped its lead to 5-1 with a three-run seventh, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Ethan Kavanagh and a solo homer by Sullivan before Kyle Mock touched home on a passed ball.
The Red Wolves rallied to tie it in the bottom of the seventh, when the first five batters reached base to start the frame. French doubled home Jake Henry Williams, and then Hunter Thomas scored on an RBI infield single by Blake Burris to make it 5-3. A wild pitch allowed French to score before Burris scampered across the plate to tie it at 5-all on a fielder’s choice.
After Butts worked a quick eighth, French roped a one-out double to the right-field fence, but was unable to score. Troy scored the eventual game-winning run in the top of the ninth on a pinch-hit RBI single by Parker Sessions.
Ben Thompson (3-0) worked the final 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen for the Trojans, striking out four and earning the win.
A-State looks to even the series Friday night against the Trojans, with first pitch at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN+. 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.
In conjunction with Arkansas State University, A-State Athletics is hosting a disaster relief supply drive in the parking lot of Tomlinson-Kell from noon until 6 p.m. Those who donate supplies will receive free admission to Friday’s contest.
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).
Red Wolves Drop Tight Series Opener to Troy. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council