Arkansas State baseball falls to Illinois State in game 2 of series
A ninth-inning rally for the Arkansas State baseball team fell short on Saturday in a 12-8 loss to Illinois State at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.
A-State (3-3) loaded the bases with the tying run at the plate and one out, but was only able to push across one run as the Redbirds (4-2) picked up a strikeout and a force-out at second to clinch the series.
The Red Wolves tallied 11 hits, led by Kyler Carmack’s 3-for-4 day that included two doubles, a run scored, an RBI and a walk. Brandon Hager and Daedrick Cail recorded two hits apiece, with Kody Darcy driving in two runs.
Starter Hunter Draper allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out four in four innings before giving way to six different relievers. Max Charlton each tossed an inning, with Coby Greiner (0-1) taking the loss. Michael Finan, Bryce Schares and Jake Algee also saw mound time.
Shay Kubo led the visitors at the dish, going 4-for-6 with two RBIs, while Adrian Flores went 3-for-3 with a walk. Leadoff man Auggie Rasmussen scored three times on two hits with two driven in.
A-State chased Redbird starter Tyrelle Chadwick after two innings before facing Jayson Hibbard and Cameron Mabee. Erik Kubiatowicz (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings to earn the win, with Jared Hart closing out the final two frames for the save.
A-State opened with a three-run first inning on a two-run single by Darcy to score Wil French and Blake Burris, who reached via walk, then Hager came around to score on a single by Cail.
Illinois State answered with a bases-loaded walk to JT Sokolove, but the Red Wolves responded when French scored on a fielding error as part of a Burris double to make it 4-1 after two.
The Redbirds tied it at 4-all with a three-run third when two runs scored on an error followed by an RBI single, then took a 5-4 lead in the fourth when Rasmussen scored on a wild pitch.
A-State reclaimed a 6-5 lead with two runs in the fifth on an RBI double by Carmack that pushed across Cail, followed by a sacrifice fly by Grier to plate Carmack. Illinois State battled back with three runs in the seventh on a passed ball and a two-run homer by Rasmussen to retake an 8-6 advantage. In the bottom of the eighth, Hager cut the deficit in half, scoring Grier on a single to right-center.
Four more crossed in the top of the ninth for the Redbirds on a two-run double by Greg Nichols, then Kubo drove in two more with a single to center to make it 12-7.
With one out in the home half of the ninth, four straight batters reached, with Hunter Thomas driving in pinch-hitter Jake Henry Williams with a double. Hart fired a strikeout, and then a force at second ended the ballgame.
A-State looks to salvage the final game of the three-game series against Illinois State Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1 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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