LITTLE ROCK – A home run from Drew Merten helped build a lead and another from Sam Vogel protected it as the Trojans won 10-6 over Missouri State at Gary Hogan Field.
Chad Bradford got the win for UALR (20-24) as the offense posted 10 runs for the second straight night and collected 11 hits—including three from Merten—against Missouri State (19-22).
Merten opened the scoring in the second with his two-run homer to right field that brought in Joseph Paulino who had singled to left.
Bryson Thionnet led off the fourth with a bunt single and moved up to second on a wild pick-off attempt. Merten, then, picked up his third RBI of the game with a single through the left side that scored Thionnet.
Drew McCurry added to the lead with a single into right field the brought Merten into score. Austin Pfeiffer continued the rally with a two-run single to right center and then came around to score on Tanner Rockwell’s double to give UALR a 7-0 lead.
The Bears clawed back into the game scoring three runs against Bradford in the top of the fifth. Bradford earned the win to move to 3-1 on the year going five innings allowing three runs on four hits.
Vogel matched the Missouri State rally with one swing of the bat with a three-run homer to left center field, his fourth home run of the season.
Josh Merrill came in and worked a scoreless sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh. The Bears drew two walks and had two singles to score a run and load the bases before the Trojans turned to Chase Rousseau. The left-hander got the first batter he faced to hit into a double play and then induced another groundout to only allow one more run to score and send UALR to the bottom of the seventh up 10-5.
Rousseau and Cory Malcom combined to pitch a scoreless eighth before turning it over to Garrett Sherrell for the ninth. The freshman allowed a run on two hits and struck out one to close out the game.
With his single in the fourth, Pfeiffer extended his hitting streak to 12 games and tied Rockwell for the longest such streak of the season.
The Trojans will continue their five-game homestand with a series against UT Arlington beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. The teams will meet again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.