MOBILE, Ala. – South Alabama (20-4, 4-1 SBC) earned a come-from-behind win to top UALR (10-13, 0-5 SBC) by a 6-5 final in 11 innings on Saturday at Stanky Field. The Jaguars tied the game at 4-all on an RBI single by Cole Billingsley in the bottom of the ninth, then scored two runs in the bottom of the 11th after a solo homer by junior Ben Crumpton in the top half of the frame to secure the series win.
With the game tied at 4-all after nine innings of play, both teams went scoreless in the 10th. Crumpton gave the Trojans a 5-4 lead with a solo homer in the top of the 11th, and junior Dillon Moritz came on to start the bottom of the frame to try and close things out for UALR. Moritz got the first batter he faced out on strikes, but the Jags’ Robby Campbell reached first on an error in the inning’s next at-bat. Campbell stole second, and Mortiz issued a walk to Brent Mitchell to put two USA runners on with one out. A single by Graham Odom loaded the bases, and the tying run crossed home plate when Mortiz hit Billingsley with a pitch.
Senior Tyler Buckley then came on in relief for Moritz, and was able to strike out the first batter he faced. However, the winning run came home when Bud Collura hit into a fielder’s choice that was misplayed by UALR shortstop Austin Pfeiffer, allowing Mitchell to slide into home and give South Alabama the 6-5 victory.
Kyle Bartsch (2-0) picked up the win for South Alabama, pitching the final 2.0 innings for the Jags while giving up one run on two hits. Moritz was dealt the loss for UALR after giving up one run on two hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
Crumpton, senior Blake Johnson, senior Myles Parma and senior David Guarno all put up two hits for UALR, who totaled 10 hits on the day. Senior John Clark was 1-for-5 with two RBI.
Cole Billingsley was 4-for-5 with two RBI to lead the Jaguars on offense.
The Trojans built an early 3-0 lead, picking up three runs on three hits in the top of the second. Parma and Guarno led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and junior Kaleb Jobe drew a walk to load the bases for UALR with no outs. Noble retired the next two UALR batters, but Pfeiffer drew a two-out walk that allowed Parma to cross home plate for the first run of the day. An RBI single by Johnson plated Guarno for the Trojans’ second run, and with the bases still loaded, Clark was hit by a pitch to allow the third UALR of the inning to cross home plate.
South Alabama scored two runs in the bottom half of the fourth to make it a 3-2 game. Huffman retired the first two batters of the inning, but allowed a two-out walk to the Jags’ Dustin Dalken. The next USA hitter, Robby Campbell, sent a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to plate South Alabama’s first two runs of the contest.
The Jags evened the game in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly by Campbell. A single by Collura and two walks issued to Patterson and Dalken loaded the bases for South Alabama. Campbell’s sac fly to right field evened the score at 3-all heading into the top of the seventh.
UALR wasted little time regaining its lead. A one-out single by Johnson was followed with a double to the left-centerfield gap by Clark that allowed Johnson to come all the way home from first and give UALR a 4-3 lead.
Harbin came on to pitch for Huffman to start the seventh inning, and retired six of the first seven South Alabama hitters he faced. Harbin issued a walk to Jaguar pinch hitter Drew Cofield to start the ninth, however, and a sacrifice bunt moved Cole Jarman, who came on to pinch run for Cofield, to second with one out. Cole Billingsley then sent a single through the right side that allowed Jarman to score from second and tie the game at 4-all.
UALR and South Alabama will play game three of their series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Junior Ethan Schlechte will get the start for UALR, while Jarron Cito will be on the hill for South Alabama.