Red Wolves off to best start since 97

Tommy Raffo watched his Arkansas State Baseball team begin this season this past weekend with its best start in over a decade. Arkansas State's 3 game sweep of Bradley gives the Red Wolves their best start of a season since 1997. Go "Inside" this AStateNation.com Baseball series notebook of the ASU vs Bradley three game series.

Tommy Raffo watched his Arkansas State Baseball team begin this season this past weekend with its best start in over a decade.

Arkansas State's 3 game sweep of Bradley gives the Red Wolves their best start of a season since 1997.

AStateNation.com sat down with Coach Raffo Monday morning to get a breakdown of the past weekend's action.

Arkansas State defeated Bradley 10-5, 10-1 and 12-2 in the three game tilt, averaging over 10 runs a game, giving up less than 3 run average per contest.

Raffo was pleased with the good start, but was quick to point out that it was just the beginning of a tough 56 game schedule.

"I was happy that a lot of our guys got to play this weekend," Raffo said. "We played 16 position players. We had our big moments, I was hoping to see some positive things and we did."

Raffo admitted he was a little surprise with the Red Wolves big offensive output in the three game opening series.

"No I didn't really expect us to score like we did," Raffo said. "We wanted to force some bases and did."

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE SERIES

"The production that we got from the eight hole in the batting order. Things started to happen for us after Kaleb Brown's push bunt. Getting production from that part of the line up enabled the top of the order to produce some scores with runners on base."

TRUE FRESHMAN GETS FIRST CAREER HOME RUN

Austin Baker, a true freshman got his first career home run as a Red Wolf. Baker's solo shot was the only homer of the series, but was instrumental in the team's success at the plate according to Raffo.

"The whole team seem to exhale after that home run," Raffo said. "It was like if a true freshman gets his, we can have success at the plate. Our stadium is a tough place to hit homers, due to the wind blowing in most of the time."

CLOSER BECOMES STARTER

John Koch, last year's closer on the team, pitched five innings in his first career start for the Red Wolves Friday night.

"John pitched a good game," Raffo said. "He was a starter in high school, he has been working hard in the off season to prepare to be able to go more innings as a starter on the mound."

WRIGHT HAS RIGHT STUFF

Senior pitcher Daniel Wright pitched 7 innings in Saturday's 10-1 win over Bradley, giving up just five hits, one run while walking two and striking out seven.

"Daniel provided us great leadership from the bullpen," Raffo said. "He is one of most experienced arms and it showed. It had a solid performance."

FRESHMAN MAKES OPENING DEBUT ON THE MOUND

Adam Grantham pitched four innings allowed just two hits and no runs to make a statement in his first career start on the mound for Arkansas State. The true freshman from Kennett Missouri, showed coaches that they made the right decision to place him as the Sunday starter.

GETTING HITS WEREN"T A PROBLEM

Three ASU Batters had four hits or better over the weekend series. Kaleb Brown led the team with six hits, against nine bat attempts for a .667 average, Alex Potts had five hits on nine attempts for a .556 average. Austin Baker hit for a .600 average.