- Junior Blake Huffman struck out
nine batters and threw 6.0 hitless innings in his first career start as a
Trojan on Saturday, as UALR (2-0) clinched its season-opening series against
UAPB (0-2) with a 10-2 win at Gary Hogan Field.
The UALR bats produced eight hits on the day, led by two hits apiece
from juniors David Guarno and Blake Johnson.
Making his return from labrum surgery and starting his
first game since the spring of 2010, Huffman began the game by striking out
three straight before retiring 18 of 20 batters over his 6.0 innings of work.
The Tyler, Texas, native struck out nine UAPB batters in all on the day en
route to picking up the first win of his UALR career.
Guarno led the UALR bats by going with a 2-for-3 with a
double to go along with a run scored and an RBI. The Rochester, N.Y., native
also drew a walk to reach base in three of his four plate appearances. Johnson
went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, and senior Cameron Bentley hit the Trojans' fifth homer in two games with a solo
shot over the right field fence. Senior Sean
Bignall and junior Chris Burk
each scored two runs, while sophomore Bryson
Thionnet led the Trojans with two RBI on the day.
UALR jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of
runs in the bottom of the first. After junior Myles Parma and Burk reached on a walk and HBP, respectively, a
passed ball allowed both to advance and gave the Trojans runners at second and
third with one out. Parma scored the game's first run on an RBI groundout by
senior Nick Rountree, while Burk
scored on an RBI double by Guarno.
The Trojans put up three runs on three hits in the
bottom of the fourth. Guarno and Bignall provided back-to-back singles to start
the frame. Guarno scored later on a wild pitch to make it 3-0, and Bignall came
home on a fly ball by Thionnet to left field. Bentley then belted his first
homer of the season over the right field fence, a solo shot to put UALR on top
5-0 after four.
Thionnet singled to drive in his second run of the game
in the bottom of the sixth to make it a six-run game. Following a UAPB pitching
change later in the inning, a single by senior Greg Garcia scored Thionnet and Johnson to tack on two more runs
and give UALR an 8-0 advantage heading into the seventh.
UAPB answered with a pair of runs in the top of the
seventh. Sophomore Austin Pfeiffer
surrendered a pair of hits that eventually turned into two UAPB runs to start
the frame, but settled down soon thereafter by retiring the next three batters
to get out of the inning with no further damage.
The Trojans answered with two runs of their own in the
bottom half of the seventh, and Pfeiffer retired the final six in order to pick
up the first save of his career.
Huffman picked up the win for UALR to improve to 1-0.
Michael Newby was saddled with the loss for UAPB after giving up eight runs,
seven on which were earned, over 5.2 innings of work.
UALR and UAPB will play the finale of their three-game
series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Junior Ethan
Schlechte is scheduled to start for the Trojans, while junior Stanten Jones
is set to start for the Lions.