LITTLE ROCK – The UALR baseball team scored 22 runs on Sunday afternoon to sweep a doubleheader with SIU Edwardsville (1-5) at Gary Hogan Field and improve to 6-1 on the year. The Trojans defeated SIUE 11-8 in both games on Sunday, hitting three home runs in the final game to earn a 3-1 series win.
“It was good to come out here today and get a series win. We were a little disappointed losing that first game on Saturday, but it shows the character of our team that we were able to finish the weekend strong,” said UALR head coach Scott Norwood. “We swung the bats well today, we just need to continue to make improvements in a few areas.”
Junior Jason Houston went 3-for-4 with two homers, a double, three runs scored and four RBI to lead UALR to an 11-8 victory in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Junior Brock Feldmann gave the Trojans some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, hitting a two-run homer (his first of the year) to extend UALR’s lead to 11-8.
The Trojans return to action Tuesday when they host Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m.
UALR 11, SIUE 8 (Game 1)
Juniors Casey McCollum and Tommie Johnson drove in two runs a piece to help lead the Trojans to an 11-8 victory in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader. Junior John Maler came on in relief of starter Anthony Pryor in the fifth inning, and shut down the Cougars for the next three innings before running into trouble in the ninth.
Maler (1-0) took the mound in the fifth with two on and one out and the Trojans trailing 4-3. He induced a 5-3 groundout and a pop-up to short to escape the jam, and proceeded to retire the first 11 batters he faced before surrendering a leadoff single in the top of the ninth.
SIUE trailed 11-4 at the start of the ninth, but used a RBI single by Adam Eggemeyer and a bases-clearing three-run double off reliever Sean Potter to cut its deficit to three runs, 11-8. After allowing the three-run double to Mike Hurt, Potter struck out Joel Graetting to end the game.
Maler worked 4.1 innings in relief of Pryor to pick up his first win as a Trojan, limiting the Cougars to two hits, one walk and three runs (all in the ninth).
The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when James Vazquez followed up a leadoff walk by Eggemeyer with a RBI double to left. The Trojans answered in the bottom of the second, scoring a pair of runs to go ahead 2-1. UALR loaded the bases with no outs off a leadoff double by senior Tyson Parks and back-to-back walks by juniors Cody Gilles and Jake Rowell, and McCollum and senior Landis Wilson each delivered RBI sacrifice flies.
McCollum extended UALR’s lead to 3-1 in the fourth when he plated Gilles with a RBI base knock up the middle. After allowing a run in the top of the first, Pryor blanked the Cougars over the next three innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth after issuing a leadoff walk to Eggemeyer.
SIUE hit three doubles in the fifth as part of a three-run inning to go ahead 4-3. Mitch Matecki tied the game at 3-all with a two-run double to right center, and Zach Hawkins put SIUE on top with a two-out, RBI double to right.
UALR tacked on three runs in the bottom half to reclaim the lead after Feldmann got things going with a leadoff walk. Feldmann moved his way over to third on a groundout and a wild pitch, and came around to score the tying run on a RBI single by Houston. Freshman Tyler Cameron scored from third moments later on a foul out by Parks, taking home with a heads-up play when no one was covering the plate. Gilles capped off the three-run rally with a two-out, RBI double to left to make it a 6-4 contest.
UALR added a run in the sixth, then manufactured four more in the bottom of the eighth to take an 11-4 lead. Johnson delivered the big blow in the eighth, hitting a two-run double to right. He came around to score moments later, when SIUE catcher Brett Keeler’s throw sailed into the outfield as Johnson stole third.
The Trojans totaled 10 hits in the win, four of which were doubles. Parks went 2-for-3 with two doubles, while McCollum and Johnson added two hits apiece in the win.
SIUE reliever Luke Ingersoll (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five hits and six runs (five earned) over 3.1 innings pitched. Eggemeyer went 1-for-3 with one RBI and three runs scored in the loss, while Hurt drove in a team-high three runs.
UALR 11, SIUE 8 (Game 2 – 7 innings)
Houston and Gilles tallied three hits apiece as the Trojans completed the sweep with an 11-8 victory in game two. Houston enjoyed the first multi-homer game of his career, hitting a two-run shot in the bottom of the first and a solo blast in the fourth.
Junior Garret Graziano came on in relief of starter Calvin Drinnen in the top of the fifth with one on and no outs, and gave up back-to-back doubles as SIUE pushed across two runs to tie things up at 8-all.
UALR broke the 8-8 tie in the bottom of the fifth, as Wilson plated Gilles with a two-out, RBI single to right. Fedlmann followed with a two-run homer to left off Dustin Quattrocchi to give the Trojans an 11-8 lead.
Grazziano settled in after surrendering a two-run double to Dustin Brooks, retiring the next seven batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Zach Hawkins in the top of the seventh. Senior JR Boling came on in relief of Graizano after Hawkins’ single, taking the mound with two outs on the board and the tying run on deck. Boling got Brooks to lift a foul ball to left field, and junior Bryce Killingsworth made a sliding catch in foul territory to end the game and give Boling his second save of the year.
Grazziano (1-0) got the win for UALR after limiting the Cougars to three hits and one run, with three strikeouts, over 2.2 innings of work. Quattrocchi (1-2) took the loss after giving up three runs in the fifth.
Hawkins led the SIUE offense with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, while Brooks drove in a team-high three runs.