UALR TROJANS (26-25, 11-16 SBC)
ARKANSAS STATE (25-27, 11-16 SBC)
Jonesboro, Ark. (Tomlinson Stadium)
Live stats & video available at AStateRedWolves.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
GM1 - Thursday, May 16 - 6:30 PM
UALR - #21 Chance Cleveland • RHP • Senior
5-8, 3.39 ERA, 90.1 IP, 82 K’s
ASU - #36 Daniel Wright • RHP • Senior
5-4, 3.38 ERA, 93.1 IP, 89 K’s
GM2 - Friday, May 17 - 6:30 PM
UALR - #42 Travis McDonald • LHP • Junior
2-2, 3.43 ERA, 39.1 IP, 32 K’s
ASU - #24 Bradley Wallace • RHP • Junior
4-2, 4.17 ERA, 58.1 IP, 67 K’s
GM3 - Saturday, May 18 - 4 PM
UALR - #24 Blake Huffman • RHP • Senior
6-4, 4.04 ERA, 78.0 IP, 62 K’s
ASU - #18 Cody Woodhouse • RHP • Junior
0-1, 3.40 ERA, 45.0 IP, 34 K’s
UALR (26-25, 11-16 SBC) enters the final weekend of conference play in a three-way tie with Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee for the final two spots in the Sun Belt Tournament, set for May 22-26 in Lafayette, La. ... Two wins over the Red Wolves this weekend in Jonesboro would guarantee a postseason spot for the Trojans, while a single UALR win would require three losses by Middle Tennessee, who owns the tiebreaker due to its 2-1 series win against UALR on April 5-7 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. ... The Trojans recently dropped two of three at home against FIU, winning a 1-0 pitcher’s duel on Saturday but dropping the opener and finale of the three-game set ... Junior Travis McDonald and senior Tyler Buckley combined for the shutout in Saturday’s win ... McDonald surrendered no runs on four hits and just one walk in 8.1 innings ... The Sydney, Australia-native then gave way to Buckley, who retired the final two in-order to earn his third save of the season ... The UALR offense, which entered the series hitting .314 with 10 homers and 70 runs scored over its previous eight games, hit just .213 with one homer and five runs scored against FIU ... UALR begins its final series of the regular season on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ... Originally scheduled for 1 p.m., game three of the series on Saturday has been moved to 4 p.m. and will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) as part of the Sun Belt Network.
ABOUT ARKANSAS STATE
Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Arkansas State is 25-27 overall and 11-16 in Sun Belt play ... The Red Wolves sat at 14-6 overall and 3-0 in league play after a sweep of UALR at Gary Hogan Field on March 17, but has since won just 11 of 30 overall and 8 of 24 conference games ... ASU ranks ninth in the league in hitting (.254) and eighth in runs scored (258) ... The ASU pitching staff leads the Sun Belt in strikeouts on the season (451) and is holding opposing teams to just a .257 clip – third-best in the conference ... Head coach Tommy Raffo is in his fifth season with the Red Wolves.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE RED WOLVES
ASU swept UALR and extended its win streak against the Trojans to 12-straight earlier this season at Gary Hogan Field to take a 65-39 lead in the all-time series ... UALR’s last series win against ASU came in Little Rock to start the 2011 Sun Belt season (March 8-11, 2011) ... In its last series win against ASU, UALR dropped the opener but won games two and three in walk-off fashion, including a three-run, ninth-inning rally on Sunday ... Head coach Scott Norwood is 6-15 all-time against the Red Wolves.
UALR leads the conference and sits in a tie for 37th nationally with 80 stolen bases – 16 more than second-place Louisiana (64) ... 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 sixth nationally in total home runs (52) and fourth nationally in home runs per game (1.04) ... 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 ... Juniors Austin Pfeiffer and Bryson Thionnet are tied for the team lead with nine home runs each ... Pfeiffer’s seven homers in SBC games are tied for third in the conference.
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 ... A First Team All-Sun Belt and First Team ABCA All-South Central Region selection in 2012, Johnson is hitting .297 with 37 RBI, 27 runs scored and seven homers this season ... The Sachse, Texas-native has 15 multi-hit games on the season, including four three-hit contests ... Johnson has thrown out 12 runners on steal attempts this season, putting him in a tie for fifth-most in the Sun Belt Conference.
UALR’s weekend rotation of Chance Cleveland, Travis McDonald and Blake Huffman have combined to win Pitcher of the Week honors in three-straight weeks ... The Trojans become the first team since 2006 (Louisiana-Lafayette) to take home Pitcher of the Week honors in three-straight weeks, and the first since 1996 (South Alabama) to do it with each of the pitchers in their weekend rotation ... McDonald, the most-recent winner, surrendered no runs on just four hits in 8.1 innings of work in UALR’s 1-0 win over FIU on Saturday, May 11 ... The Sydney, Australia-native issued just one free base on a walk in the top of the second inning before going on to retire nine-straight batters ... After allowing a pair of singles in the fifth, McDonald retired ten-straight FIU batters, ending with a single to start the top of the ninth.
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 on Saturday (May 4), Cleveland 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 13 starts this season are good enough for eighth place on the single-season list ... Cleveland’s 14 career wins tie him for fifth-most on the Trojans’ career list, while his 3.66 career ERA currently places him sixth all-time at UALR.
UALR topped UCA in extra innings at Dickey-Stephens Park for the second-straight season on Tuesday, May 7 ... A year after winning 9-8 on a walk-off, two-RBI single by Cameron Bentley (2011-12) in the bottom of the 10th, UALR used a walk-off two-run homer from Austin Pfeiffer in the botom of the 12th to win 5-3 in front of 1,391 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock ... The win was UALR’s fifth-straight in their series with UCA.
Junior Ben Crumpton has totaled 47 stolen bases in just two season at UALR, placing him second on the Trojans’ all-time list and 16 back of record-holder Miguel Miranda’s (1998-01) total of 63 ... Crumpton’s 18 doubles this season are good enough for sole possession of ninth place on UALR’s single-season list ... Senior Blake Johnson’s 15 doubles this season give him 29 for his career, tying him with Matt Apfel (2008-09) for 10th place all-time at UALR ... He sits just one double back of matching Terrence Conner (1991-92) for ninth place all-time, and three doubles shy of tying Robert Taylor (2007-08) and Ryan Gotcher (2006-07) for seventh place ... Senior Chris Burk has been hit by 29 pitches in two season with the Trojans – fourth-most on UALR’s career HBP list.