The Arkansas State baseball team received a strong pitching performance from Carter Holt, Tanner Kirby, and Bo Ritter, while Kyle MacDonald provided the offense with a two-run homer to send the Red Wolves to a 2-1 series-clinching win over Texas State Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Tomlinson Stadium.
Holt, a true freshman, started the contest and went 4.1 innings before A-State (17-26, 8-16 SBC) turned to Kirby out of the bullpen. A native of Maumelle, Ark., Kirby tossed 2.2 hitless innings with a walk and two strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Ritter entered to begin the eighth and allowed a run, but nothing else to pick up his team-best fourth save.
MacDonald's two-run blast came in the bottom of the fourth after Jeremy Brown reached on a walk to begin the frame. A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, MacDonald lined the first pitch he saw in his at-bat off Texas State (23-24-1, 11-13 SBC) starter Wes Engle over the fence and under the scoreboard in right field to put the Red Wolves ahead 2-0.
The score remained 2-0 until the eighth when Jonathan Ortega doubled to begin the inning for the Bobcats. Jaylen Hubbard tripled with one out to score Ortega and the game looked destined to be tied, but Ritter struck out the next batter and induced a pop up to get out of the threat. A native of Hot Springs, Ark., Ritter then only needed four pitches to get the Bobcats out in the ninth to preserve the 2-1 victory.
MacDonald was the only A-State player with two hits, while Blake Wynn picked up his first career hit in second start of the season. Ortega led the visitors with two hits as both teams each had five hits apiece. Engle took the loss for Texas State on the mound despite allowing just two runs on three hits with four strikeouts against two walks.
Arkansas State is back in action today Tuesday, May 8 when the team travels to Conway, Ark., to face UCA. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.