UALR TROJANS (25-23, 10-14 SBC)VS.FIU PANTHERS (23-26, 11-13 SBC)
Little Rock, Ark. (Gary Hogan Field)
Live stats & video available at UALRTrojans.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
GM1 - Friday, May 10 - 6 PM
UALR - #21 Chance Cleveland • RHP • Senior
5-7, 3.07 ERA, 85.0 IP, 82 K’s
FIU - #22 Tyler Alexander • LHP • Junior
3-6, 4.42 ERA, 71.1 IP, 67 K’s
GM2 - Saturday, May 11 - 4 PM
UALR - #42 Travis McDonald • LHP • Junior
1-2, 4.35 ERA, 31.0 IP, 24 K’s
FIU - #34 Mike Franco • RHP • Junior
5-3, 5.58 ERA, 50.0 IP, 36 K’s
GM3 - Sunday, May 12 - 11 AM
UALR - #24 Blake Huffman • RHP • Senior
6-3, 3.98 ERA, 72.1 IP, 58 K’s
FIU - #41 Alex Seibold • RHP • Soph.
2-5, 4.53 ERA, 49.2 IP, 42 K’s
UALR (25-23, 10-14 SBC) is playing some of its best baseball of 2013 as it enters its final home series of the season against FIU (23-26, 11-13 SBC) ... Fresh off an extra-inning win against in-state rival Central Arkansas on Tuesday, March 7, the Trojans have won seven of eight overall and five of their last six conference games ... UALR is hitting .314 with 10 home runs and 70 runs scored as a team over the last eight games ... Seniors John Clark (.389 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI) and Chris Burk (.375 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) have led the charge on offense over the team’s recent tear ... Juniors Bryson Thionnet (.370 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and Austin Pfeiffer (.353 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI) give the Trojans four players hitting .350-plus over the last eight games ... Most recently, UALR topped Central Arkansas by a 5-3 final in 12 innings at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock on Tuesday ... Pfieffer hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning to complete the come-from-behind win for the Trojans ... UALR trailed 3-0 after six and half innings, but plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh and scored the game-tying run on an RBI single by senior David Guarno in the bottom of the ninth inning ... Last weekend, UALR took two out of three from Florida Atlantic to move into a tie with Arkansas State for sixth place in the league standings ... After splitting a doubleheader on Saturday, senior Blake Huffman carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before finishing with a line of two runs on four hits in 8.2 innings of work ... Huffman was named the Sun Belt’s Pitcher of the Week on Monday for his efforts.
FIU sits at 23-26 overall and 11-13 in Sun Belt play but has dropped nine-straight games, including five-straight in league play, entering this weekend’s series ... The Panthers’ last win came in game one of their series against Louisiana on April 26 ... FIU currently sits a game up of UALR in the Sun Belt standings ... The Panthers rank fourth in the league in hitting (.288), led by Edwin Rios (.339) and Aramis Garcia (.335) ... However, FIU’s pitching ranks at the bottom of the Sun Belt with a team ERA of 5.25.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE PANTHERS
FIU holds a 31-15 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, though UALR took two of three from the Panthers last season in Miami ... The series win was UALR’s first against FIU in Miami since the 2000 season ... Junior Ben Crumpton finished last year’s series hitting .385 with a homer, while senior Myles Parma hit .333 with three runs scored ... Head coach Scott Norwood in 6-7 all-time against FIU.
UALR leads the conference and ranks 32nd nationally with 79 stolen bases – 21 more than second-place Louisiana (58) ... Junior Ben Crumpton, who led the league in stolen bases a year ago, is leading the Sun Belt in stolen bases again this season with 23 ... Junior Austin Pfeiffer ranks second with 17 on the season.
TOUCH ‘EM ALL!
As of May 5, UALR sits in a tie for fourth nationally in total home runs (50) and second nationally in home runs per game (1.06) ... UALR earned a statistical championship by leading the nation in homers per game in 2012, hitting 66 in 54 games for an average of 1.17 per game.
The UALR lineup currently features four players hitting .300 or better ... Chris Burk (.318) leads the pack, followed by John Clark (.317), Austin Pfeiffer (.316) and Blake Johnson (.306) ... UALR is hitting .271 as a team this season, but boasts a .314 average over their last eight games.
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 ... This season, Johnson is hitting .306 with seven home runs and 37 RBI.
PAIR OF ACES
Seniors Chance Cleveland and Blake Huffman have combined to give UALR back-to-back Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week honors ... The Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Cleveland earned the honor on Monday, April 28 after hurling a complete-game shutout in UALR’s 5-0 in over Western Kentucky on April 26 ... Cleveland surrendered just three hits while striking out 10 WKU hitters against one walk ... Huffman earned the honor on Monday, April 6 after carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning at Florida Atlantic on May 5 ... Huffman finished with a final line of two runs on four hits in 8.2 innings ... Huffman is tied for fifth in wins (6) and ranks 10th in the SBC in innings pitched (72.1) ... Cleveland leads the league in innings pitched (85.0) and ranks second in strikeouts (82) and opposing batting average (.222).
MOVING UP THE RANKS
In his short time at UALR, Chance Cleveland is leaving his mark on the Trojans’ record book… With his five strikeouts at Florida Atlantic last Saturday (May 4), Cleveland now ranks fifth all-time on the career strikeout list at UALR (180) ... Last season, Cleveland fanned 98 batters – good enough for second place on the Trojans’ single-season strikeout list ... His 82 K’s through 12 starts this season are good enough for eighth place on the single-season list.
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 (17) and is leads UALR in hits (60), RBI (38) and total bases (97).