ASU Evens Series With Cajuns, 6-4
Arkansas State center fielder Michael Faulkner has been a thorn in the side of Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns his entire career. Saturday was no exception.
The Red Wolves’ junior stroked a two run triple which highlighted a three run sixth inning to lead ASU to a 6-4 win over the Cajuns, evening their best-of-three Sun Belt series at one game apiece.
Faulkner’s hit came off reliever Derek Howell and staked the Red Wolves to a 5-2 lead.
The Cajuns had taken a 2-1 lead after four innings when Chase Compton hit his first career home run, a two run shot which gave the Cajuns a 2-1 lead.
But ASU came back in the fifth on an RBI single by Faulkner, who is now 21-42 in ten career games against the Cajuns.
Arkansas State broke the game open against starter Chris Griffitt (3-2) in the sixth when Claude Johnson led off with a double, the third of his four hits on the day. Ryan Emery followed with a bunt single to put runners at the corners with no one out. After Griffitt struck out Stuart Levy, Dustin Jones hit a sacrifice fly to center to break the tie and give ASU a 3-2 lead. Kaleb Brown followed with a single, ending Griffit’s day and setting up Faulkner, who hammered a shot down the right field line to clear the bases.
Arkansas State scored another run in the seventh on a run scoring single by Levy.
Daniel Wright (1-2) kept the Cajuns at bay over the first six innings, allowing just the two run homer by Compton. He gave up two hits in the seventh and gave way to reliever Bradley Wallace, who struck out Ryan Leonards to end the threat. The Cajuns got a run in the eighth on an RBI single by Compton and another in the ninth on a pinch hit double by freshman Almann Showden. But Wallace struck out Brian Bowman for the final out and notched his first save of the season.
Johnson paced the thirteen hit ASU attack with his four hits. Kaleb Brown added three hits on the day.
Arkansas State moved to 12-10, 4-1 in the Sun Belt with the victory before 2,209 at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field. Louisiana dropped to 13-9, 3-2 with the loss.
The two teams will meet in the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1pm. Senior right hander Joe Zimmerman will face righthander Cody Kyle.