AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta State broke a 5-all tie with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and made it stand up for an 8-6 Senior Day victory over non-conference foe Erskine Thursday afternoon at Jaguar Field.
ASU (22-27) fell behind 2-0 to the No. 26 Flying Fleet over the first two innings before knotting the game at 2-all in the second on senior outfielder Matt Debes’ two-run double to right-centerfield.
The Jaguars took a 5-2 lead an inning later when senior third baseman Jorge Virguez reached on a leadoff single and junior Shannon Wilkerson walked. Senior leftfielder Tim Rawlings’ sacrifice bunt turned into a pair of ASU runs after a throwing error by Erskine reliever Chris Hall allowed both Virguez and Wilkerson to score. A wild pitch from Hall allowed Rawlings to race home.
The Fleet (35-15) answered back with three runs in their half of the fifth. ASU junior reliever Carl Burrow hit Cody McElhaney to start the inning and walked Zack McCarthy before surrendering a three-run homer by Greg Huff to left field.
Wilkerson put the Jags back in front in the fifth with his 19th homer of the season – a line-drive shot to right field -- and senior first baseman Kevin Owens slapped an RBI-single to score Tristan Toorie.
Erskine pulled within 7-6 on Mo Seay’s leadoff homer in the sixth. The Jags pushed their advantage to 8-6 in the seventh on a double by Toorie and a Debes’ RBI-grounder.
Burrow (1-1) logged his first win of the season as ASU used eight different pitchers. Senior lefty Ben Dukes earned the starting nod and was charged with a hit and a run in his one inning of work. Only senior lefty Adam Mathis went more than one inning. Debes tallied a team-high three RBI while Toorie went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Virguez and Owens each collected a pair of hits and Wilkerson scored two runs.
Hall (0-1) took the loss for the Flying Fleet, allowing three hits and two runs. Starter Jarett Miller went the first 2.0 innings, yielding three hits and five runs – two earned – with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Huff, Hill and Seay had two hits each for Erskine, and Huff scored a pair of runs.
The contest marked the final home appearance for seven ASU seniors – Virguez, Owens, Debes, Mathis, Rawlings, Dukes and fellow lefty Chris Tyler.