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Courtesy: Nelson Chenault
Senior Blake Johnson was one of two Trojans with two hits in Saturday's loss.
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ASU Takes Series with 9-7 Win Over UALR on Saturday
UALR Sports Information
Release: 03/16/2013

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas State (13-6, 2-0 SBC) scored eight runs over its final two sets of at-bats to erase a six-run deficit and top UALR (10-9, 0-2 SBC) by a 9-7 final score on Saturday at Gary Hogan Field. A six-run fifth inning put the Trojans on top 7-1, but a three-run eighth and five-run ninth gave ASU the come-from-behind win and clinched the series for the visiting Red Wolves.

After both teams scored a run each in their respective halves of the fourth, UALR put up six runs in the bottom half of the fifth to build a 7-1 lead that it would hold until the top half of the eighth inning. Senior Blake Johnson started UALR's half of the fifth with a solo homer to left, his fourth of the season, to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead. After senior John Clark popped out for the first out of the inning, senior Chris Burk hit a hard grounder to third that was fielded cleanly, but a throwing error by ASU's Claude Johnson allowed Burk to reach base safely and advance all the way to third. A double off the right field wall by senior Myles Parma plated Burk and chased ASU starter Chandler Hawkins from the game.

With Adam Grantham now on to pitch for the Red Wolves, junior Bryson Thionnet promptly blasted a two-run homer to left field to give the Trojans a 4-1 advantage. A double by senior David Guarno and infield single by sophomore Sage Gasaway gave the Trojans runners at second and third and resulted in Grantham's exit from the game.

With Tanner Ring now on the hill for ASU, a wild pitch allowed Guarno to score and Gasaway to slide over to third base. Junior Ben Crumpton then hit a roller down the first base line that ASU first basemen Logan Uxa fielded and elected to throw to home. However, Uxa's effort was not in time to put the tag on Gasaway, who slid into home safely for UALR's sixth run of the inning.

Arkansas State managed just one hit over its next two sets of at-bats, but the Red Wolves tacked on three runs thanks to a two-run homer by Collin Massanelli and RBI by Alex Potts to cut UALR's lead to 7-4 heading into the ninth inning.

After UALR went scoreless in the top half of the ninth, junior Dillon Moritz surrendered a walk to the Red Wolves' Ethan Yeo to start the bottom of the frame. Moritz was able to get the next ASU hitter out on strikes, but a one-out homer by the following hitter, Alex Baker, pulled the Red Wolves within a run. Massanelli followed Baker's blast with a solo shot to left, his third of the game, tying the contest at 7-all.

Travis McDonald came on to pitch for Moritz and surrendered a single to center and threw a wild pitch before being pulled in favor of senior Tyler Buckley. Buckley issued a walk to Uxa before giving up a double down the left field line to Johnson that plated the go-ahead run and advanced Uxa to third base. Ryan Roberts then hit a deep fly ball to left that allowed Uxa to tag and score, giving ASU a 9-7 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

With John Koch on to close things out for Arkansas State, the Trojans went down in the ninth in order. Koch picked up the save and clinched the series win for the visiting Red Wolves.

Ring was credited with the win for ASu to improve to 1-0 on the year. McDonald was saddled with the loss for UALR to dorp his record to 0-1 on the season.

Senior Blake Huffman started the game and gave up just one run on two hits while striking out five over 7.0 innings of work. Hawkins started the game for ASU and lasted 4.1 innings while surrendering four runs on six hits.

Johnson and Guarno led UALR with two hits apiece on the afternoon. Crumpton and Thionnet paced the Trojans with two RBI apiece. UALR ended the day with 10 total hits, compared to 11 for ASU.

Massanelli (3) and Baker (2) combined for five home runs for the Red Wolves. Massanelli finished the day 4-of-5 from the plate with four RBI and three runs scored.

UALR and ASU will play game three of their series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gary Hogan Field. Junior Ethan Schlechte (2-1) will be on the hill for the Trojans, while Bradley Wallace (2-0) will get the nod for the Red Wolves.

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