Zach McKnight

Zach McKnight

The 16th-ranked University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team used a quality start from sophomore pitcher Zach McKnight to shut out NCAA Division I Arkansas State on Tuesday by a final score of 2-0.

McKnight (1-0) allowed only three hits while striking out six and walking none in the first five innings of the game. The Bentonville native picks up his first win of the season in his first start. Sophomore Gavin Johnston and junior Jeff Harvill relieved McKnight for the combined shutout by only giving up four more hits in the final four innings.

UAM jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI double down the left field line by junior Austin Braddock to score senior D’Marco Poindexter, who led off with a single to center on the first pitch of the game.

The Weevils used an Arkansas State error and wild pitch to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Braddock reached on an overthrow by the ASU shortstop to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fly out and scored on an RBI groundout from sophomore Corey Wood.

The biggest Red Wolves threat came in the top of the eighth with a two-out double down the right field line by Zach George, which moved leadoff man Zach Maggio to third. UAM reliever Jeff Harvill ended that threat with a groundout. Harvill preserved the shutout by holding ASU scoreless in the ninth as well for his third save of the season.

Despite being shutout, the Red Wolves outhit UAM by a final margin of 7-4. Derek Birginske (0-1) took the loss for Arkansas State after giving up two runs (one earned) with two strikeouts and no walks in the first four innings.

The Weevils stay on the non-conference portion of the schedule for its next outing, a double-header against LeMoyne-Owen College on Wednesday at home starting at noon at Weevils Field.