LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (5-18-2007) — The Arkansas State Indians kept their post-season hopes alive Friday night, rolling to a 10-3 victory over the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in game two of a Sun Belt Conference series at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock. With the win, the Tribe evened the series at 1-1. ASU (22-32, 12-17) and UALR (21-30, 9-19) will wrap up the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m., and the Indians need another victory over UALR, along with a Florida Atlantic win over Florida International, and a Troy victory over South Alabama in order to advance to the eight-team Sun Belt Conference Tournament next week in Mobile, Ala.
Nathan Gates worked the complete game on the mound to pick up the win for ASU, while right fielder Tyler Doke and left fielder Jett Jones each went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in to lead the Tribe at the plate.
The Indians struck first and early, plating three two-out runs in their first at-bat. After first baseman Brandon Eller led off the game with a single, designated hitter Josh Yates got aboard with his third intentional walk of the series. Eller came home on a base hit from catcher Drew Rogers, Yates crossed the plate when Doke singled to right field, and Jones delivered an RBI single to send Rogers home for the 3-0 Arkansas State advantage.
The Trojans answered in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs when center fielder Ryan Gotcher hit a two-run, two out home run over the right field wall to cut the Indian lead to 3-2, then tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the third on an RBI double from first baseman Brett Lawler.
Arkansas State put four runs on the board in the fifth to take the lead for good and chase UALR starter David Klumpp from the mound. Third baseman Guy Brown led off the inning with a single, followed by a single from Yates. Doke reached on an error to score Brown for the first run of the inning, and Jones delivered a two-run single to stretch the ASU lead to 6-3. The Indians’ final run of the inning crossed the plate when second baseman Jordan Kimball reached on an error to plate Doke, giving the Indians a 7-3 advantage.
The Indians prevented UALR rally in the bottom of the seventh when Jones made a running catch of a fly ball hit to the wall by UALR catcher Tyler Mason. Jones relayed the ball to first to get the double play on designated hitter Matt King, who had already rounded second on Mason’s fly ball.
ASU pushed the lead to 10-3 in the eighth on a two-run double from Hudgins and an RBI single from Doke to set what proved to be the final score.
In addition to the 2-hit, 3-RBI efforts from Doke and Jones, the Indians also got two hits and a pair of RBI from Hudgins, two hits and one RBI from Rogers, and two hits each from Eller and Brown.
Gotcher finished with a pair of hits and two RBI to lead the Trojans.
Gates improved to 4-7 on the season with the win, giving up the three runs on eight hits, with two strikeouts and no walks. Klumpp took the loss for UALR, slipping to 4-6 on the year while giving up seven runs on nine hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.