LITTLE ROCK – UALR (19-24) topped Grambling State (13-28) by a 10-7 final Tuesday evening at Gary Hogan Field. In a game that saw both teams combine for 25 hits, the Trojans’ offense totaled seven runs over the fifth and sixth innings to break a 3-all tie and pull away for the victory.
Bryson Thionnet and Tanner Rockwell totaled three hits each to lead the UALR offense. Drew McCurry and Petr Sila added two hits apiece while Thionnet and McCurry drove in three runs each.
The Trojans broke open a tie game with a pair of solo homers by Rockwell and Thionnet to build a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sila added the Trojans’ third solo homer of the game – his first of the season – in the bottom of the sixth to give UALR a three-run cushion. The Trojans went on to plate four more runs in the sixth innings thanks in part to hits by Rockwell and Thionnet to take a 10-3 lead into the seventh.
The Tigers plated a run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh to make it a 10-4 game. Grambling then pulled within three thanks to three runs on four hits in the top of the eighth. Following singles by Yariel Medina and Brandon Kiser, a two-RBI single by Johnathon Tineo plated both runners to make it a 10-6 deficit. An RBI single by Bell later in the inning pulled the Tigers within three, 10-7.
Grambling would get no closer, as Rockwell came on in the top of the ninth and retired the final three Tigers in order to earn his fourth save of the season.
Jake Busiek picked up his first career win after allowing one run on three hits over 2.1 innings of relief work. Grambling’s Michael Martin was saddled with the loss. Martin got the start and lasted 5.1 innings, surrendering eight runs on 11 hits.
Grambling threatened in the top half of the third. With one out on the board, Johnathon Tineo reached on a throwing error by the third baseman before stealing second base. An infield single by Travaurs Bell advanced Tineo to give the Tigers runners at first and third with one out. But Ethan Schlechte was able to pitch the Trojans out of the jam, inducing a 1-6-3 double play to escape the inning and keep the Tigers scoreless.
The Trojans broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning. Sila led off the frame with a single through the left side, then moved to second on a groundout by Sam Vogel. Sila stole third base before coming home on an RBI single by McCurry.
Grambling answered by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth. Edwin Drexler led off the frame with a walk and eventually scored the Tigers’ first run of the frame after a stolen base and a pair of UALR errors. Grambling followed with consecutive singles to load the bases and a passed ball allowed Juna Bueno to come home and give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Following another walk, an RBI single by Dion Holbrook gave Grambling a 3-1 edge.
McCurry again came up big for the Trojans in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, the second baseman ripped a single back up the middle to plate Joseph Paulino and Drew Merten and tie the game at 3-all.
With his triple in the eighth inning Austin Pfeiffer exteneded his hitting streak to 11 games.
UALR will be back in action Wednesday when it plays host to Missouri State at 4:00 p.m.