ASU shuts out Skyhawks, snaps losing streak
|The baseball team overcame a four-game losing streak to beat University
of Tennessee at Martin Wednesday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium.
But what appeared to be a beautiful day for baseball was a mediocre day for both teams, as the Tribe was held to only three hits and the Skyhawks two.
"It wasn't a hitter's day. The wind blowing in was a psychological factor," Arkansas State University coach Bill Bethea said.
The Indians (12-12) grabbed all their runs during the bottom of the first inning.
Skyhawk pitcher Paul Parker walked first baseman Aaron New, and Josh Langford scored on third baseman Michael Clay's RBI single, putting ASU up 1-0.
L.A. Bowman took first base after being hit by a pitch from Parker, advancing Clay to second base and New to third.
Outfielder Scott Carlson reached base on an error by Tennesee-Martin right fielder Scott Hall, bringing in New and advancing Bowman and Clay.
Outfielder Beau Reed reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on an error by Skyhawk second baseman Kyle Hodge. Carlson moved to third, and Bowman and Clay scored.
Sam Tyler grounded out, and catcher Randy Sugg flew out to end the Indians most productive inning.
Paul Slack and Chad Prichett grabbed the Skyhawks' only hits in the top of the seventh and eighth innings.
Pitcher Todd Bussard (1-0) took the win for ASU, walking none, allowing only one hit and striking out seven batters.
Mark Dobson pitched 1 1/2 innings of relief for the Tribe, striking out four and allowing one hit.
Parker (1-3) took the loss for the Skyhawks, who fell to 8-14. Parker hit four batters, gave up two hits and walked one and struck out one.
Tennessee-Martin also saw pitching from Michael Blount, who replaced Parker in the bottom of the fourth inning.
He pitched two innings, struck out three batters and gave up one walk. Jason Alford replaced Blount in the bottom of the sixth.
And Jody Fuller added one and a half innings of pitching for the Skyhawks in the bottom of the seventh.
Bethea credited both teams' pitchers. "I thought the pitchers for Tennessee-Martin did a good job. Both teams did a good job of holding each other."
"We haven't been swinging well in the past three or four games," he said. "We're trying to get back on track and hopefully we will."
The cold-hitting Tribe was not on track Tuesday night as it amassed only seven hits in its loss to the University of Mississippi.
After jumping out to a 1-0 first-inning lead, Arkansas State surrendered five runs in the second inning to non-conference foe Ole Miss and never could claw its way back into the game.
The Rebels added five more runs in the eighth and left Tomlinson Stadium with a 10-2 victory.
New belted a solo homer in the first, staking ASU to its only lead of the game.
The homer was New's 23rd at ASU, breaking the record for career home runs.
Bobby Pickett held the old record of 22, setting it in 1991.
Right-handed starter Brian Coleman (2-2) surrendered five hits in the second, including a two-run triple by Bobby Kielty, giving Ole Miss a 5-1 lead.
"At 5-1, I thought we were in the game the whole time," Bethea said.
"We have been scoring a few runs; we've been scoring seven or eight runs a game, so you have to think, ‘Well, we're going to score a few,'" Bethea said. "But the last three games we haven't been swinging the bat, and Coleman was hanging in there by his teeth," he said.
"He did a pretty good job," Bethea said. "It's really tough when you don't have much to come in out of the bullpen."
Coleman struck out three, walked four, allowed eight hits and seven runs, all earned.
Following Scott Camien's triple in the bottom of the ninth, Sugg slapped a RBI-single through the right side setting the final score at 10-2.
The Indians will hit the road this weekend to play University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
They will come home March 31 to host Murray State University at Tomlinson Stadium.
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