UALR Takes Series Versus IPFW with Doubleheader Split on Sunday
Courtesy: UALR Sports Information
          Release: 03/06/2011
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Jake Rowell ended game one of UALR's doubleheader against IPFW with three hits, two drawn walks and two RBI.
View larger Courtesy: Nelson Chenault

Jake Rowell ended game one of UALR's doubleheader against IPFW with three hits, two drawn walks and two RBI.

LITTLE ROCK - The UALR baseball team (6-6) split its doubleheader against IPFW (1-3) on Sunday at Gary Hogan Field, winning the first contest by a final of 16-3 and dropping the second by a score of 7-2. The Trojans used 16 hits and 15 RBI to score 16 runs, all season bests, to win big in the opener, while IPFW's Samuel Walker went the distance while allowing just two runs on six hits to give his team the win in game two.

In game one, The Trojans took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first and never looked back. That's when a two-out, RBI single to left field by Casey McCollum scored Justin Barnes from second and gave UALR an early one-run advantage.

The Trojans picked up two more runs in their next set of at-bats. After Sean Bignall and Hector Acosta were both hit by pitches to start the inning, a bunt single by Niko Navarro loaded the bases for UALR with no outs. Brock Feldmann drove in the first UALR run of the inning with a grounder to second, while an RBI single by Cameron Bentley to center field would score Acosta and give the Trojans a 3-0 advantage after three innings of play.

The UALR bats stayed hot, scoring two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Following a drawn walk by Jason Houston, Jake Rowell doubled off the left field fence to give the Trojans runners at second and third with two outs. The next hitter, Barnes, ripped a two-RBI double down the right field line that drove in both runners and put UALR up 5-0 at the end of four.

Daniel Golden cruised through four innings, giving up just three hits over that span, before running into trouble in the top of fifth. In the frame, the 'Dons were able to manufacture three runs on a pair of walks and two singles to cut the Trojan lead to two at 5-3.

That would be as close as IPFW would come, however, as the Trojans responded with back-to-back one-run innings in the bottom halves of the fifth and sixth, before exploding with five- and four-run innings in the seventh and eighth, respectively.

Five different Trojans finished the game with multiple hits. Houston and Rowell led the way with three apiece, while Barnes, Navarro and Feldmann each contributed with two-hit games. Barnes also finished the contest with five RBI, the most of any UALR player thus far in 2011.

Golden earned his first win of the season, pitching 5.0 innings while giving up three runs on five hits. Nick Grimmett also pitched well in relief, allowing no runs and no hits in 3.0 innings of work. Ryan Montgomery closed out the game for the Trojans, also allowing no runs and no hits in his 1.0-inning stint in the top half of the ninth.

In game two, UALR fell behind early and was never able to get even, as the offense lacked the firepower it enjoyed in the day's opener. The Trojans finished the second contest with six hits and two RBI.

After two scoreless innings by both sides, the Mastadons used five straight two-out singles in their third set of at-bats to gain an early lead, their first of the series, a 5-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the third.

UALR answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. After Greg Garcia and Bentley each drew one-out walks, a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance and gave the Trojans two baserunners in scoring position. The next batter, Houston, scored Garcia on a deep fly ball to centerfield and made the score 5-1 in favor of the 'Dons.

After IPFW tacked on additional runs in the top-halves of the fourth and seventh innnings to make the score 7-1, the Trojans put their final tally on the board in the bottom of the eighth.

Following a two-out single by Houston, Rowell ripped an RBI double to left-center field that cut IPFW's lead to five. However, that would be as close as the Trojans would get, as Walker would retire the next batter to get out of the eighth before closing out the ninth to earn his and IPFW's first wins of the season.

With the split on Sunday, the Trojans took two of three from the 'Dons and claimed their first series victory of 2011. UALR will have just a day of rest before returning to Gary Hogan Field for games on Tuesday and Wednesday against Southeast Missouri State. Tuesday night's affair will begin at 6 p.m., while Wednesday night's contest is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start time.

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