Baseball comeback falls short on the road


Senior outfielder Seth Gardner had two of the Racers seven hits in their 8-7 loss to the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Tuesday, April 11. Photo by Rebeca Mertins Chiodini/The News.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

A late-game push wasn’t enough for the Murray State baseball team, as the team fell one run short against the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

The Racers hit three home runs in the game, including a grand slam in the fifth inning. However, unable to get any more runs to cross the plate, the Racers lost to the Red Wolves 8-7 in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Junior infielder Logan Bland batted lead-off for the Racers, and on the very first pitch of the game, he hit a home run deep to right field, putting Murray State up early.

But, it wasn’t long before the Red Wolves answered.

After a lead-off double from sophomore infielder Wil French in the bottom of the first inning, sophomore first baseman Cason Tollett hit a home run to center field, giving the Red Wolves a one-run lead.

Junior infielder Drew Vogel got the second inning started with a walk and advanced to second base on a groundout from junior designated hitter Jacob Pennington.

The play set up an RBI chance for junior outfielder Cade Sammons, and he took full advantage with a triple. This allowed Vogel to score and tied the game at two runs apiece.

Once again, the Racers had trouble holding the lead as freshman left-hander starting pitcher Ethan Lyke walked the first batter, then gave up a single to the next batter.

After another walk and a mound visit, Lyke gave up a sacrifice flyout that allowed freshman outfielder Cross Jumper to tag up and score from third base, giving the Red Wolves the lead.

A wild pitch advanced the runners on base, and Vogel, who was playing shortstop, bobbled the throw on a groundout chance. This allowed junior outfielder Allen Grier and sophomore infielder Daedrick Cail to score, making it 5-2 Red Wolves.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Wolves continued adding to their lead with a double from junior infielder Brayden Caskey that scored French and Grier, putting two more runs on the board.

The next batter, Tollett, hit a single into right field, and Caskey came around to score, making it 8-2 Red Wolves.

The Racers had work to do, and to work they went in the top of the fifth. Sammons got the inning started with a single, followed by a bunting single from senior outfielder Seth Gardner.

After Bland loaded the bases by getting hit by a pitch and sophomore outfielder Dustin Mercer struck out, graduate outfielder Brennan McCullough stepped up.

With a full count and bases loaded, McCullough hit a grand slam to right field, cutting the Red Wolves’ lead to just two runs.

The Racers came close to scoring again in the top of the sixth inning with a pair of walks, but left the runners stranded on base.

The top of the ninth inning came around, and Murray State needed two runs to keep the game going. The team got one of those runs in the form of a solo home run from Bland, cutting the lead to just one run.

But the rest of the batters weren’t able to get on base, leaving the Racers just short of a win. The Red Wolves defeated the Racers 8-7.

Murray State had seven hits in the game, with McCullough, Sammons and Gardner each having two hits. Bland had the only other hit. The Racers struck out eight times in the game, walked three times and left four runners on base. They also recorded the only error of the game.

Arkansas State had eight hits in the game, with Tollett slashing two of them to lead the team. The Red Wolves struck out six times and walked three times, leaving four runners on base.

Murray State drops to a 16-17 record on the season, sitting at sixth in the MVC with a conference record of 4-5.

Conference play resumes for the Racers on Friday, April 14, as they travel to Normal, Illinois, taking on the Illinois State Redbirds in a three-game series. The first pitch for game one is set for 5 p.m.


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