ARLINGTON, Texas -- Arkansas State plated three runs in the first and third innings to post a 6-4 win over UTA baseball to open the three game series with the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, at Clay Gould Ballpark.
UTA (16-17, 7-6 Sun Belt Conference) couldn’t overcome the three-run innings from Arkansas State (12-18, 4-9 Sun Belt) in the first and third, despite rallying with four unanswered and getting the tying run to the plate in the ninth.
ON THE MOUND
UTA starter Brad Vassar (2-3) worked three innings, allowing six hits and six runs, walking one and striking out one. Senior righty Jordon West started the fourth inning and spun a gem. He worked six-shutout, two-hit innings, striking out three. He ended his outing retiring 15 straight hitters. West's splendid outing comes after working seven innings in relief at TCU on Tuesday.
Arkansas State starter Bradley Welsh (1-4) worked six innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three. Coulton Lee opened the seventh getting an out but allowing a hit and walk, which each run scoring. Bo Ritter came on in relief of Lee and worked out of the jam in the frame. Ritter worked the final 2.2 innings without allowing a run to earn his second save of the year.
The series will resume later on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT at Clay Gould Ballpark. The Mavs will start senior righty Trae Patterson (2-1, 6.05 ERA) vs. Arkansas State junior righty Nate Alberius (4-2, 3.13 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on UTAMavs.com, with the Voice of the Mavs, Josh Sours, calling the action.
HOW THEY SCORED
Arkansas State took a lead in the top of the first inning, getting a one-out double from Jeremy Brown, his ninth, and a two-out RBI single from Winston Welch into the left-centerfield gap. Grant Hawkins then ripped his second homer of the year down the leftfield line, giving A-State a 3-0 lead.
A defensive miscue on a one-out pickoff attempt in the top of the third inning led to a fourth run, with Drew Tipton racing around from first base to score. Kyle MacDonald then drew a walk and Welch scored him with a double into the gap, one-hoped to the wall in left-centerfield. Tobias Johnson then scored Welch with a bases-loaded single through the right side.
UTA broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning, getting a leadoff double from Hollie to open the frame. After a fly out moved Hollie to third base with one out, Noah Vaughan chopped a two-strike RBI groundout to the right side to allow Hollie to score.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Funk sparked a rally with a one-out bunt single. Montgomery then drew a walk and after a wild pitch pushed both runners into scoring position, Cook scored Funk with an RBI groundout to the right side. Minjarez followed with a run-scoring double inside the bag on the left side.
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