Arkansas State scored five runs in its final four at bats as the Indians picked up an 8-5 win Saturday afternoon over the Western Kentucky University baseball team in game one of a Sun Belt Conference series at Nick Denes Field.
The game was actually the completion of a contest started Friday evening that was suspended after heavy rain moved into the Bowling Green area.
ASU (15-22, 7-9 SBC) picked back up where it left off when the game resumed in the top of the second as a two-out double from Tyler Doke scored Jordan Kimball to stretch the Indian lead to 3-1.
The Hilltoppers (14-17, 6-7 SBC) came right back in the bottom of the inning, however as they loaded the bases with two outs against Nathan Gates. Matt Hightower then reached on an error as two runs scored to tie things up at 3-3.
WKU starter Liam Shanahan took the mound again after starting the contest on Friday night and blanked Arkansas State over the next three innings, but a sixth-inning error proved costly. With two outs and two on, Shanahan got Josh Yates to pop up in foul territory, but the potential final out was dropped to keep the at bat alive. Yates responded with a two-run double down the left-field line to put ASU back in front. Ryan Hudgins followed with a single to bring home Yates and extend the lead to 6-3.
Yates struck again in the eighth as he hit a two-run homer off WKU reliever Steve Hupper to stretch the lead to 8-3.
Terrence Dayleg was able to pull the Toppers back within three as he hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in left to make it an 8-5 game. However, Tim Egart came in and pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his third save of the year.
Before the rains caused the game to be suspended on Friday evening, WKU was able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Scotty Colt singled home Dayleg with two outs in the inning.
However, ASU came right back in the top of the second when Jett Jones hit a two run home run to right, and Jordan Kimball walked before eventually coming around to score the third run of the inning when the game was resumed on Saturday.
For the game, Dayleg led the Hilltoppers going 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored, while Troy Frazier picked up a pair of hits. Yates finished with three hits and four RBI for ASU.
Shanahan (1-7) suffered the loss as he allowed six runs (three earned) on 11 hits in 5.2 innings of work over the two days. Gates — who started on the mound Saturday in relief of T.J. Brewer — picked up the win as he went 6.2 innings allowing seven Hilltopper hits and four runs.