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Senior pitcher Chance Cleveland set the tone for the Trojan pitching staff on Saturday, striking out batters over eight innings.
View larger Courtesy: Nelson Chenault

Senior pitcher Chance Cleveland set the tone for the Trojan pitching staff on Saturday, striking out batters over eight innings.
Courtesy: Nelson Chenault
Senior pitcher Chance Cleveland set the tone for the Trojan pitching staff on Saturday, striking out batters over eight innings.
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Two Pitching Gems Carry UALR To Double Header Sweep of SIU Edwardsville
UALR Sports Information
Release: 02/24/2013

LITTLE ROCK - Behind the arms of seniors Chance Cleveland and Blake Huffman, the UALR baseball team (4-2) swept its doubleheader against SIU Edwardsville (1-5) on Saturday at Gary Hogan Field, winning the first game by a final score of 2-1 and taking the second contest by a score of 2-0. Cleveland and Huffman combined for 14 innings on the mound, 14 strikeouts, and both picked up a win in their respective starts.

SIU Edwardsville put a run on the board in the first inning of game one courtesy of a Trojan error, but that would be the only runner to cross home plate for the Cougars the rest of the day as the Trojan pitching staff blanked the visitors for the final 17 innings of the doubleheader.

In game one, Cleveland bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss to Evansville and responded with eight strikeouts over eight innings pitched, scattering three base hits and walking one batter. After six batters came to the plate in the first inning, Cleveland shut down the Cougar offense by retiring 17-of-19 batters.

Offensively, UALR was having troubles of its own. It wasn't until the bottom of the fourth inning that the Trojans were able to produce a run on SIU Edwardsville's Sam Hopkins. A lead-off double by junior Kaleb Jobe jumpstarted the inning and put a runner aboard with nobody out. A fly out then advanced Jobe to third base, bringing freshman Ryan Scott to the plate with one out. Scott answered the bell with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Jobe and tying the game at one.

In the sixth inning, junior Austin Pfeiffer walked and stole second base, putting a runner in scoring position for the Trojans. With two outs in the frame, junior Ben Crumpton laced an RBI-single to center field, scoring Pfeiffer from second and giving UALR its first lead of the game.

Two runs was all the Trojans would need in game one as the combination of Cleveland and junior closer Dillon Moritz sealed a game one victory. Moritz worked the final inning, picking up his second save of the season in the process.

Jobe and senior Blake Johnson paced the Trojans offensively in game one with two hits apiece, while Pfeiffer went 1-for-2 with a run scored.

In game two of the doubleheader, Huffman picked up right where Cleveland left off. The senior from Tyler, Texas worked six innings of shutout baseball, striking out six and walking only one batter. Sophomore Cameron Allen came in relief and worked a perfect seventh and eighth inning, picking up three strikeouts in the process. The Trojans turned the ball over to Moritz again in the ninth inning as the right-hander from Aurora, Colo. picked up his second save of the day, capping a masterful performance from the entire UALR pitching staff.   

After a quiet three innings, the fourth inning proved to be favorable for the Trojans yet again in game two. With two outs and nobody on, senior John Clark doubled to right field, setting up senior Chris Burk with an RBI opportunity. Burk delivered by ripping an RBI-single to left field, scoring Clark and breaking a scoreless tie.

UALR added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, courtesy of an RBI double off the bat of Johnson that scored senior Myles Parma all the way from first base.

SIU Edwardsville doubled UALR's hit total in game two, but the Cougars failed to capitalize on their chances, leaving eight runners on base. The Trojans only managed to scatter four hits in the second game, with all of them coming from the top five hitters of the lineup.

UALR will turn right around for the series finale against SIU Edwardsville tomorrow from Gary Hogan Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. 

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