Michael Sandle hit two home runs — including a grand slam — and drove in six as South Alabama rolled past Arkansas State 11-6 in Game 2 of a Sun Belt Conference baseball series in Jonesboro, Ark., on Saturday.
Sandle hit a grand slam in the fifth inning and a two-run shot in the seventh as part of the Jaguars’ 9-hit attack. USA (12-9, 3-2 Sun Belt) goes for the series victory at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Arkansas State (15-8, 4-1) jumped on top 1-0 in the first inning, but South Alabama took the lead for good with a four-run third. Wells Davis and Felix Aberouette had RBI singles in the inning, while Carter Perkins walked with the bases loaded and Santi Montiel had a sacrifice fly.
After the Red Wolves got a run back in the fourth to make it 4-2, Sandle’s grand slam turned the game into a rout. The Jaguars added three runs in the seventh on Sandle’s second homer and a Bennett Shell RBI double.
South Alabama starter JoJo Booker (3-2) picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. After the Jaguars’ bullpen allowed four runs, Zach Greene got the final two outs of the game — both by strikeout with the bases loaded — for his fifth save.
Arkansas State starter Chandler Coates (3-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing eight runs on six hits and six walks in five-plus innings. Drew Tipton, Alex Howard and Jake Jablonski all had two RBIs for the Red Wolves.