WKU fails to win series in 6-3 loss

Kurt Carson

Arkansas State got off to a hot start and an early lead that would never be relinquished Sunday against WKU.

The Red Wolves’ first four batters combined for eight hits and five RBIs to lead the offensive charge.

Arkansas State (21-16, 10-5 Sun Belt Conference) defeated WKU (14-21, 6-9) by a score of 6-3 to win the weekend series at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.

The Red Wolves jumped in front 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double by first baseman Zach George and an RBI single by left fielder Logan Uxa.

George struck again in the second inning with a two-out, two-RBI single that stretched Arkansas State’s lead to 4-0 over WKU.

After that it was just a matter of keeping the lead intact.

Right-hander Cory Kyle started on the mound for the Red Wolves and held the Toppers to just one unearned run on three hits over four innings of work.

Arkansas State also got two innings apiece of solid relief pitching from right-handers Brandon Farley and John Koch to assist in edging out WKU.

The Toppers broke the ice in the top of the fourth on an RBI groundout by junior catcher Devin Kelly that cut the Red Wolves’ lead to 4-1.

However, Arkansas State used an RBI double by Zach Maggio to answer with a run of its own in the bottom half of the fourth inning to stretch the margin back out to four.

WKU got as close as it would get for the remainder of the game in the top of the fifth inning when senior third baseman Casey Dykes doubled to plate sophomore left fielder David Simmons and freshman first baseman Kelby Chowning to make it a 5-3 deficit.

But the Toppers were unable to cross the plate again while the Red Wolves added an insurance run in the eighth inning to earn the 6-3 victory and clinch the series.

WKU accumulated a total of five hits from the bats of five different Toppers.

Junior right-hander Taylor Haydel started for WKU and gave up five earned runs on 10 hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work and earned the loss.

The Toppers will have two mid-week games this week as they travel to Belmont on Tuesday and Lipscomb on Wednesday before returning home for a weekend series with Troy.