UALR TROJANS (14-14, 3-6 SBC)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (16-15, 3-6 SBC)
Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Reese Smith Jr. Field)
Live stats & video available at GoBlueRaiders.com
GM1 - Friday, April 6 - 6 PM
UALR - #21 Chance Cleveland • RHP • Senior
3-4, 2.50 ERA, 50.1 IP, 45 K’s
MT - #24 Hunter Adkins • RHP • Senior
4-2, 3.28 ERA, 49.1 IP, 39 K’s
GM2 - Saturday, April 7 - 4 PM
UALR - #24 Blake Huffman • RHP • Senior
3-1, 2.68 ERA, 43.2 IP, 38 K’s
MT - #31 Johnathan Frebis • LHP • Sophomore
3-3, 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 23 K’s
GM3 - Sunday, April 8 - 1 PM
UALR - #6 Ethan Schlechte • RHP • Junior
3-3, 5.20 ERA, 36.1 IP, 27 K’s
MT - #28 Zac Curtis • LHP • Junior
4-3, 5.70 ERA, 36.1 IP, 32 K’s
The Trojans (14-14, 3-6 SBC) have won four-straight games as they head into their weekend series at Middle Tennessee (16-15, 3-6 SBC) ... Most recently, UALR swept ULM at Gary Hogan Field to pick up its first three Sun Belt victories of the season ... The victories improve the Trojans to 3-6 in conference play and place them in a tie with the Blue Raiders for eighth place in the league standings ... The Trojans will play just seven games at Gary Hogan field in the month of April as they hit the road for Sun Belt series against Middle Tennessee and Troy, as well as midweek contests at Oral Roberts, Oklahoma and UT Arlington.
LAST TIME OUT
UALR extended its win streak to four straight and earned its first three conference wins of the season with a three-game sweep of ULM at Gary Hogan Field ... The Trojans did have a midweek matchup against UCA scheduled for Tuesday, but it was canceled due to inclement weather ... UALR’s sweep of the Warhawks was its second series sweep of the season ... In game one, senior right-hander Chance Cleveland went the distance while allowing just two runs on five hits to help UALR earn the 3-2 win ... The UALR offense exploded in the final two games of the series, combining for 24 runs on 26 hits to top ULM 11-3 and 13-3 in games two and three, respectively.
ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Middle Tennessee sits at 16-15 overall and 3-6 in Sun Belt play heading into this weekend’s series ... The Blue Raiders have lost five straight overall and are coming off a 12-3 loss at No. 2 Vanderbilt on Tuesday ... Last weekend, MT suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of Troy ... The Blue Raiders rank second in the Sun Belt in team fielding and rank sixth in both team pitching and hitting ... Ryan Stephens (.327, 9 2B, 2 3B) and Ryan Ford (.326, 10 2B, 20 RBI) lead the Blue Raider offense.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE BLUE RAIDERS
Middle Tennessee holds a 28-7 lead in the all-time series between the teams ... Last season, the Blue Raiders picked up a three-game sweep of UALR in Murfreesboro (April 6-8, 2012) ... The Trojans’ lone series win over the Blue Raiders came in Little Rock during the 2011 season, when UALR took the Friday and Saturday contests to capture a 2-1 series win ... Head coach Scott Norwood is 2-10 all-time against Middle Tennessee (0-6 in Murfreesboro).
UALR leads the conference and ranks 26th nationally with 48 stolen bases ... Juniors Austin Pfeiffer (12) and Ben Crumpton (10) rank first and second in the league, respectively in stolen bases.
UALR head coach Scott Norwood is just two wins away from his 400th career victory as a head coach ... Norwood currently sports a 398-275 (.592) record in 12-plus seasons as a head coach.
PFEIFFER NAMED SBC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior shortstop Austin Pfeiffer was named the Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday, April 1 ... Pfeiffer helped lead the Trojans to a perfect 4-0 record over the last week of play, hitting .500 (7-for-14) with six RBI and a home run ... Pfeiffer’s week was highlighted by his 3-for-4 effort with three runs scored and a homer in the Trojans to an 11-3 victory on Saturday ... Pfeiffer was a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts and boasted a .786 slugging percentage and .650 on-base percentage over the four-game span ... On the season, Pfeiffer is hitting .343 and leads both UALR and the Sun Belt Conference with 12 stolen bases ... Pfeiffer also ranks sixth in the league in runs scored (26), ranks ninth in OBP (.446) and is tied for sixth in assists (79).
ACE IN THE HOLE
Senior Chance Cleveland was named the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year in a vote of the league’s coaches on Feb. 11 ... A First Team All-Sun Belt and Second Team ABCA All-South Central Region selection as a junior, Cleveland compiled a 9-4 record over 14 starts, acting as the foundation for the Trojans’ pitching staff ... His nine wins tied the school record for single-season victories, while his 98 strikeouts were good enough for second place on UALR’s all-time single-season list ... Through seven starts this season, Cleveland is 3-4 with 45 strikeouts – tying him for third-most in the Sun Belt – and is holding hitters to the fourth-lowest opposing batting average in the conference (.212).
CRACKING THE TOP TEN
In his short time at UALR, Chance Cleveland is leaving his mark on the Trojans’ record book… With his five strikeouts against South Alabama last Friday, Cleveland now ranks eighth all-time in the career strikeout list at UALR (143) … Cleveland is 20 strikeouts away from tying Adam Champion (2007-10) and Jacob Anderson (1999-00) for sixth place on UALR’s all-time strikeouts list.
Crumpton in the lead-off spot and Pfeiffer batting second in the lineup has proven to be beneficial for UALR so far this season… Crumpton (.336 AVG, 33 R, 39 H) and Pfeiffer (.343 AVG, 26 R, 35 H) lead the Trojans in several statistical categories ... The duo also ranks first and second in the Sun Belt in total steals ... Pfeiffer is 12-of-14 in stolen base attempts this season, while Crumpton is 10-of-11.
In addition to Pfeiffer’s recent offensive output, the junior has now reached base safely in 22-straight games ... Senior John Clark is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with six RBI over UALR’s last four games ... Clark carries a five-game hit streak into this weekend’s games at MT ... Senior Blake Johnson is hitting .375 with seven RBI over the same span, while sophomore Sam Vogel hit .357 with five hits and five runs scored in last week’s games.