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Jags fall to ASU, Red Wolves clinch series

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MOBILE, Ala. – Arkansas State right-hander Nate Alberius tossed 8 1/3 innings to lead the Red Wolves to a 6-3 win over the University of South Alabama baseball team Saturday at Stanky Field.

Alberius (6-2) allowed three runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts against three walks in 8 1/3 innings pitched to earn the win, which clinched the series for the Red Wolves.

South Alabama (24-17, 12-7 SBC) will return to action Sunday when it hosts Arkansas State in the series finale at 1 p.m. at Stanky Field.

GAME FACTS

- Drew Tipton led off the game with a walk, and scored one batter later on an RBI triple down the left field line by Grant Hawkins for a 1-0 ASU lead. Jeremy Brown followed with an RBI single to left field to score Hawkins and double the Red Wolves lead at 2-0.

- Travis Swaggerty led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and moved to second on a single to right field by Dylan Hardy. A groundout back to the pitcher by Brendan Donovan allowed both runners to move into scoring position with one out before a sacrifice fly to center field by Carter Perkins plated Swaggerty and cut the ASU lead in half at 2-1.

- Jaylon Deshazier singled to right field with one out in the top of the second inning, and advanced to second after a walk by Tipton. A walk by Hawkins loaded the bases with one out for Brown, who flew out to center field for the second out of the frame. Kyle MacDonald followed with a walk to score Deshazier for a 3-1 ASU advantage. Jaguar right-hander JoJo Booker then induced an inning-ending groundout to first off the bat of pinch-hitter Andrew Leggo to end the threat.

- Tipton led off the top of the fourth inning with a double to left field, and moved to third with no outs following a wild pitch from Booker. Hawkins then delivered an RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Tipton and extend the ASU lead to 4-1. MacDonald followed with a walk before a wild pitch allowed Hawkins to advance to third to put runners at the corners with one out. Leggo then delivered a two-run triple down the right field line to push the ASU lead to 6-1.

- Hardy doubled to left-center field with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and scored one batter later on an RBI single to right field by Donovan to cut the ASU lead to 6-2.

- An RBI groundout to second by Hunter Stokes in the bottom of the ninth scored Davis, who doubled to lead off the inning, with the game's final run.

NOTES

- Donovan extended his on-base streak to 11 games, and extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-out single in the bottom of the third inning.

- Swaggerty extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first inning.

- Donovan went 2-for-4 with one RBI, and Hardy finished 2-for-4 with a double and one run scored to lead the Jaguars at the plate. Davis added a double and one run scored, while Perkins and Stokes drove in one run apiece.

- Hawkins went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Red Wolves offensively.

- Alberius (5-2) allowed three runs on five hits with two strikeouts against three walks in 8 1/3 innings pitched to earn the win.

- ASU right-hander Bo Ritter tossed two-thirds of a relief inning, and struck out one to record his fourth save of the season.

- Jaguar right-hander Noah Michael (1-3) allowed three runs on three hits with one strikeout and two walks in 1 1/3 innings pitched in the loss.

- Jaguar right-hander Chase Lambert tossed 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings, and allowed one hit with four strikeouts against one walk in his first appearance in a month.

- Melton tossed 3 1/3 scoreless relief innings, and allowed one hit with a season-high seven strikeouts without issuing a walk.

QUOTES

Head Coach Mark Calvi

- On the loss:

"They (Arkansas State) got off to a good start, and we didn't get off to a good start on the mound. We didn't do what we needed to do on the mound in the first four innings, and they took advantage of it. We pitched out of some jams; they left a lot of guys on base, and could have scored more runs. We didn't pitch or hit well enough tonight. We hit some balls hard and hit into a couple of double plays which killed some rallies – we just didn't play good enough baseball to beat a team that is playing very well right now in Arkansas State."

- On ASU starter Nate Alberius:

"His fastball had a little bit of cut to it and he threw a good changeup in there. He mixed his pitches up really well, and they played good defense behind him. His numbers were good this year, and I see why. He bends but doesn't break, and he has some escapability. He throws his changeup around the plate and it has some sink to it. When you put it in play, it's on the ground hard and their guys picked it up behind him and did a good job defensively. He showed a little cutter and slider, his fastball had some sink and he had a pretty good changeup."

- On Chase Lambert and Zach Melton:

"Chase Lambert hasn't been in there in a month, and I give that kid all the credit in the world. He has thrown one bullpen. We've tried to bring him along since he was cleared medically, and he was outstanding in his first game action in a month. And this was as good as I have seen Zach Melton. He's been good as of late, and he has a good arm with good stuff. I have a lot of faith in him, and he was really good again tonight. I hate that we couldn't win with that effort out of those two guys, but that bodes well for us moving forward."

UP NEXT

South Alabama will return to action Sunday when it hosts Arkansas State in the series finale at 1 p.m. at Stanky Field.

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