JONESBORO, Ark. – Junior Bryson Thionnet hit a two-out, solo homer in the top of the ninth to pull UALR (26-26, 11-17 SBC) within a run, but Arkansas State starter Daniel Wright struck out junior Kaleb Jobe to end the game and give the Red Wolves (26-27, 12-16 SBC) a 3-2 win in game one on Thursday at Tomlinson Field. Arkansas State got all of its offense from a three-run homer by Ryan Roberts in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Both starters went the distance on Thursday. Wright earned the win to improve to 6-4 on the year, while the loss dropped senior Chance Cleveland to 5-9 this season. Wright surrendered two runs (one earned) on six hits while totaling four strikeouts in contest. Cleveland gave up his three runs on three hits while racking up six strikeouts.
Thionnet led UALR on offense, finishing 2-for-3 at the plate and hitting his team-best 10th home run of the season. Four other Trojans collected hits on the day, with senior Blake Johnson scoring on classmate Myles Parma’s RBI single in the top of the sixth inning.
ASU struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning. Emery drew a walk to lead off the inning and Stuart Levy singled to give the Red Wolves a pair of base runners. Roberts homered to right field to put the first three runs of the game on the board for ASU.
The Red Wolves threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases on two walks and a single. But after Cleveland issued an intentional walk to Logan Uxa to load the bases, the right-hander got Levy to fly out to left for the final out of the inning.
UALR scratched across a run to make it 3-1 in the top of the sixth. Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, and senior John Clark singled through the left side to put two men aboard for the Trojans. Senior Chris Burk flied out to left for the second out of the inning, but Parma placed an RBI single through the middle of the infield to plate UALR’s first run of the game.
Wright held the Trojans hitless over the next two innings, retiring nine-straight until Thionnet’s homer with two outs on the board in the top of the ninth.
UALR and ASU will play game two of their series on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Junior Travis McDonald (2-2) will start for the Trojans and Bradley Wallace (4-2) will take the mound for the Red Wolves.