Arkansas State baseball falls to Illinois State in series opener
Allen Grier went 2-for-3 with a triple, but the Arkansas State baseball team could not overcome an early deficit in a 6-2 loss to Illinois State Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.
A-State (3-2) pulled within one when Grier scored from third in the eighth, but the Redbirds (3-2) answered with three runs in the top of the ninth to expand the lead, then retired the side to take game one of the series.
The Red Wolves tallied five hits, including Grier’s two. Blake Burris homered, while Brandon Hager and Hunter Thomas also registered a hit. Illinois State pounded out 10 hits, including three by Greg Nichols and two from Luke Cheng.
ISU struck out 17 Red Wolves, including 12 by starter Derek Salata (2-0), who allowed just one run on four hits and walked one in six innings. Elijah Dale pitched the final three innings, fanning five and earning the save.
Tyler Jeans (1-1) pitched his second quality start of the season for the Scarlet and Black, striking out seven and allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings. He surrendered one of just two walks allowed by A-State hurlers. Kyler Carmack pitched 2 1/3 frames, with Arlon Butts tossing two-thirds of an inning to finish the ninth.
Illinois State picked up a run in both the second and third innings on an RBI triple by Auggie Rasmussen and a run-scoring single by Adrian Flores to take a 2-0 lead.
A-State got on the board in the sixth on a two-out solo shot by Burris, his second of the year, before Daniel Pacella’s solo homer in the eighth made it 3-1.
The Red Wolves got a run back in the bottom of the eighth when Wil French plated Grier on a groundout. Illinois State then answered with three runs in the ninth. Cheng scored on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and then a two-run single by Luke Lawrence drove in Nichols and Noah Rabin.
Dale closed out the contest with a 1-2-3 ninth to clinch the win for the visitors.
A-State looks to even the series Saturday against Illinois State, with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. on ESPN+. The radio broadcast can be heard on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3/96.9/104.1/970 AM in Jonesboro.
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