UALR TROJANS (18-22, 5-13 SBC)vs.WESTERN KENTUCKY (22-19, 11-7 SBC)
Little Rock, Ark. (Gary Hogan Field)
Live stats & video available at UALRTrojans.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
GM1 - Friday, April 26 - 6 PM
UALR - #21 Chance Cleveland • RHP • Senior
4-6, 2.92 ERA, 71.0 IP, 67 K’s
WKU - #22 Tanner Perkins • LHP • Junior
3-2, 4.10 ERA, 41.2 IP, 31 K’s
GM2 - Saturday, April 27 - 4 PM
UALR - #42 Travis McDonald • LHP • Junior
1-2, 3.55 ERA, 25.1 IP, 20 K’s
WKU - #39 Andrew Edwards • RHP • Junior
4-1, 3.38 ERA, 53.1 IP, 50 K’s
GM3 - Sunday, April 28 - 1 PM
UALR - #24 Blake Huffman • RHP • Senior
4-3, 4.14 ERA, 58.2 IP, 48 K’s
WKU – TBA
UALR (18-22, 5-13 SBC) returns to the friendly confines of Gary Hogan Field for a weekend series with second-place Western Kentucky (22-19, 11-7 SBC) beginning Friday at 6 p.m. ... The Trojans boast a 14-9 record and are hitting .287 with 19 home runs at home this season ... Friday’s contest marks the end of a streak of six-consecutive road games for the Trojans, who began the streak with a pair of wins at then No. 10 Oklahoma on Tuesday, April 16 ... Most recently, UALR fell in a midweek contest at UT Arlington on Wednesday, April 24 ... The Trojans were limited to just one hit over the first seven innings, but rallied for four runs on two hits in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 4-all ... UT Arlington scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, as a two-out RBI single by Travis Sibley plated Justin Copeland to give the Mavs a 5-4 victory ... Wednesday’s loss marked the fourth-straight for the Trojans, as UALR was swept in its three-game series at Troy the previous weekend ... Senior Chance Cleveland surrendered just two runs on three hits in 8.0 innings of work on Friday, but fell to 4-6 on the year as Troy’s Tanner Hicks earned SBC Pitcher of the Week honors after allowing one run on four hits in a complete-game effort ... The Troy offense put up 14 runs on 11 hits in a 14-6 victory in game two, and followed with a 10 runs on 14 hits in a 10-5 win on Sunday ... Senior Blake Johnson is hitting .357 with a .438 on-base percentage over UALR’s four-game slide.
ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY
Western Kentucky boasts a 22-19 record on the year and currently finds itself in a three-way tie for second place with an 11-7 mark in Sun Belt play ... Most recently, the Hilltoppers captured a 3-2 win in 18 innings against Kentucky on Tuesday, April 23 ... WKU ranks second in the league in team pitching (3.86 ERA), led by Saturday night starter Andrew Edwards, who is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA and has racked up 50 strikeouts in 53.1 innings pitched ... Offensively, Ryan Huck is hitting .323 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI ... Scott Wilcox is hitting .321 with a team-high 54 hits and 11 doubles on the year.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE TROJANS
WKU leads 44-30 in the all-time series with UALR ... Last year, the Hilltoppers took two of three against the Trojans in Bowling Green, Ky. ... WKU battled back from a 7-3 deficit to hand UALR an 8-7 loss in 11 innings and earn a series win over the Trojans in game three.
UALR leads the conference and ranks 27th nationally with 69 stolen bases ... Juniors Ben Crumpton (19) and Austin Pfeiffer (16) rank first and second, respectively, in the league ... Crumpton is 19-of-20 and hasn’t been thrown out since Feb. 23 against SIU Edwardsville ... Crumpton’s 19 stolen bases rank 41st nationally ... Crumpton also ranks in the league’s top ten in doubles (15 – 8th) and runs scored (43 – 5th).
The UALR lineup currently features three players hitting .300 or better ... Blake Johnson (.328) and Austin Pfeiffer (.308) lead the pack, followed by Chris Burk (.309) ... Senior John Clark (.299) and sophomore Ben Crumpton (.291) are just off the pace.
NEW WEEKEND STARTER
Junior Travis McDonald was moved to the Trojans’ weekend rotation after limiting No. 10 Oklahoma to just two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings in UALR’s 5-2 win in game one of a doubleheader on April 16 ... The start was the first of McDonald’s UALR career ... In his first weekend start at Troy, McDonald allowed five runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings in game three ... On the season, McDonald boasts a 3.55 ERA with 20 K’s in 25.1 IP.
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 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 11-3 victory over ULM on Saturday (March 30) ... 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 ... Currently, Pfeiffer ranks second in the league in stolen bases (16) and ranks second on the team with a .308 batting average.
JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Senior catcher Blake Johnson was one of 41 NCAA Division I catchers named to the initial Johnny Bench Award watch list on March 11 ... Johnson was a First Team All-Sun Belt and First Team ABCA All-South Central Region selection in 2012 ... The Sachse, Texas-native started all 43 games he appeared in, ranked third on the team with a .315 batting average and finished second on the Trojans with 14 doubles and a .533 slugging percentage ... Through 40 games this season, Johnson leads the team in hitting (.328), slugging (.575), on-base percentage (.432), RBI (32) and is tied for the team lead in home runs (7).
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 ten starts this season, Cleveland is 4-6 with 67 strikeouts – good enough for third-most in the Sun Belt and 36th nationally – and is holding opposing hitters to a .217 batting average.
MOVING UP THE RANKS
In his short time at UALR, Chance Cleveland is leaving his mark on the Trojans’ record book… With his six strikeouts at Troy last Friday (April 19), Cleveland now ranks fifth all-time in the career strikeout list at UALR (165).
HOME SWEET HOME
Juniors Austin Pfeiffer and Ben Crumpton are hitting .367 and .344 respectively in home games this season ... In all, five UALR regulars are hitting .300 or better at Gary Hogan Field on the year ... As a team, UALR is hitting .287 with 19 home runs and 65 extra-base hits in 23 home games this season.