MEMPHIS, Tenn. (5/9/2007) — Despite a hard-fought game that had Arkansas State leading by a run in the ninth inning, the Indians dropped an 8-7 heartbreaker to Memphis at Nat Buring Stadium here Wednesday night in the second of a two-game series between the two schools.
Trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth, Memphis knotted the score at 7-all when K.K. Chalmers, pitch running for Adam Amar, scored. A short time later, the Tigers’ Tyler Huelsing scored the winning run on an Indian error. The game gave Memphis the series sweep after defeating Arkansas State, 10-5, Tuesday night in Jonesboro.
“I don’t know what to say to this team and to say after the game,” said ASU Head Coach Keith Kessinger. “The ninth inning was a disaster. We ended up with bases loaded and nobody out. That would have been nice, but we didn’t get it done. Then we get two strikes and their guy hits it. Jett (Jones) makes that catch 99 of 100 times.”
ASU pitcher Tim Egart gets the loss, while Dusty Davis picks up the win for the Tigers. Freshman Ryan Blackburn opened the game to pitch six innings for the Tribe before being relieved in the seventh by Zach Skaggs. Egart came in during the bottom of the ninth for ASU.
Memphis got on the board early, putting up three runs in the first inning and one in the second. Arkansas State, down 4-0, came roaring back to add three runs of its own when Brandon Eller scored off the RBI by Josh Yates and Guy Brown on an RBI by Tyler Doke in the top of the third.
Drew Rogers then stepped up with the RBI single to send in Yates to cut the Memphis deficit to one, 4-3. Memphis scored once more in the third to make the score 5-3. A two-run double by ASU’s Ryan Hudgins tied the score and the Tribe added another to make the score 6-5 before the game was suspended in the bottom of the seventh for a 50-minute lightning and rain delay.
The Indians added another run in the ninth when Eller singled and Guy Brown followed with a bunt. Hudgins added another hit to get on first and Yates faced an intentional walk. Eller was able to score on a fielder’s choice that sent Tyler Doke to the dugout.
“This one is incredibly tough,” continued Kessinger. “But, I’m so proud of these guys. This has been a tough year for them. Tim Egart was good tonight and we couldn’t’ get it for him. We’ll regroup and get ready for this weekend. This one will be hard. It’s going to be hard to get on the bus and tell these guys this game doesn’t mean anything. That’s not the way we are.
ASU returns this weekend to host Louisiana-Monroe in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series. The first game gets underway Friday at 6 p.m. with the second on Saturday at 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon’s finale starts at 1 p.m.
“We know what’s in front of us now. We’ve got to win two series to have a chance to keep playing. We’ll figure out a way to put our team out there.”