JONESBORO, AR – The Arkansas State baseball team turned in a complete performance on a chilly Wednesday night as the Indians downed regional rival Memphis, 5-3 at Tomlinson Stadium. Junior designated hitter Josh Yates continued his torrid run producing pace as he drove in four of the Tribe’s five runs in the victory as ASU improves to 12-10 on the season.

 

            “I am very proud of our guys for this performance tonight. This is one of our most complete games of the season as we made some great defensive plays, got great pitching and came up with timely hits,” head coach Keith Kessinger said. “Josh (Yates) continues to just produce runs for our team as he has a knack for coming up with clutch hits.”

 

            The Indian pitching staff sent six different pitchers to the mound in its final tune up for Sun Belt Conference action as ASU combined to limit Memphis to just four hits in the victory. The Indians only allowed three runs in the second inning before shutting down the hot hitting Tigers for the victory.

 

            The Tribe staff posted eight shutout innings in the victory including two by freshman Brandon Eller. Eller (1-0), who was making his first appearance of his career after foregoing his redshirt, worked two solid innings as he downed the all six batters he faced in just 21 pitches to pick up his first career victory in his first career appearance. 

 

            “Brandon (Eller) did a great job after sitting out the first 21 games of the year. He came out and showed great poise and a lot of confidence to pitch how he did against a good Memphis team,” Kessinger added. “Our entire staff pitched well tonight to bring home this victory.”

 

            The Indians struck first against Memphis starter Lance Scoggins in the bottom of the first inning. Junior third baseman Tyler Doke started things off with a one out double down the right field line. After a ground ball advanced Doke to third, Yates came through and laced a single to center field to plate the first run of the game to put ASU up, 1-0

 

            Memphis (11-8) answered the Tribe’s run by plating three runs in the top of the second inning against ASU starter Todd Boucher. The Tigers started things off with a walk followed by an Adam Amar triple to left field to tie the game at one apiece. Robbie Goss followed with a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

 

            The Indians chipped away at the Tiger lead in the bottom of the third inning as senior shortstop Brett Kinning ripped a one out triple off of the right center field wall to set the table for Yates. He came through as he lifted a deep fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly to plate Kinning and pull ASU within one at 3-2.

 

            The Tribe re-took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning as they chased Scoggins from the game. Doke again started things off as he singled through the left side and moved to second on a single by Kinning. Yates capped off his stellar evening at the plate as he barely missed a home run as he ripped a two-run double off of the left center field wall to plate Doke and Kinning to put ASU ahead, 4-3.

 

            The Indians tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning against Memphis reliever Matt Yokley. Kinning led off the inning as he crushed a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for his second home run of the season to put the Tribe up, 5-3.

 

            The Tigers put the pressure on Indian closer Tim Egart as they loaded the bases with two outs but Egart notched his third strikeout of the inning to slam the door shut and secure the Indian victory. Egart notched his second save of the season by working the scoreless ninth inning

 

            Yates finished the evening with a pair of hits as he drove in four runs to raise his team-leading total to 33 RBIs on the year. Kinning continued to swing the bat well as he posted three hits and scored three runs while Doke added a pair of hits and two runs scored in the Tribe victory. Senior first baseman Elliot Jacobs also turned in a multiple hit game as he tallied a pair of hits and reached base three times for the Indians.

 

            Boucher worked two innings in his first start as an Indian and was charged with three runs in two hits while striking out two. Doug Gunderson followed by tossing two hitless innings before giving way to Eller. Freshman Nicholas Lambert continued his strong play as he tossed one scoreless inning of relief in front of Egart.  

 

            Scoggins (1-1) picked up the loss as he was charged with four runs on eight hits in just four innings of work Yokley worked the final four innings and only allowed one run on three hits for the Tigers.

 

            The Indians will be back in action this weekend as they open up Sun Belt Conference action when Florida International comes to Tomlinson Stadium for a three-game series. The series kicks off on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. followed by Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. and concluding on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

 

####