Courtesy: Nelson Chenault
Sophomore Ben Crumpton ended Sunday with five hits in two games.
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Trojans Top Bradley, Fall to Belmont on Sunday in Nashville
UALR Sports Information
Release: 02/26/2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The UALR baseball team (5-3) split a pair of Sunday games at Rose Park on Sunday, winning its opener over Bradley (3-3), 7-5, before falling in the afternoon game to Belmont (3-4) by a score of 3-0. UALR won two of four over the course of the weekend, going 1-1 against both Belmont and Bradley.

Game One - UALR 7, Bradley 5

The Trojan bats produced 16 hits in the day's opener against Bradley, as senior Sean Bignall, senior Cameron Bentley and sophomore Ben Crumpton each came up with three-hit games to lead the UALR offense. Crumpton went 3-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored. Bignall reached base four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with a walk and scoring a run. Bentley went 3-for-5, including solo homer and a triple, to go along with two RBI and two runs scored.

Junior Blake Johnson and sophomore Bryson Thionnet each had two-hit days for the Trojans. Johnson went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Thionnet went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

Junior Elliot Velasquez picked up the win for the Trojans after pitching 1.1 innings and allowing no runs on one hit. Tory Doerr gave up four runs on six hits in 1.0 inning to earn the loss for Bradley. Thionnet closed out the ninth to pick up the save, and sophomore Ethan Schlechte started the day for the Trojans and gave up three runs on three hits in 4.1 innings.

UALR found itself in a 3-0 hole after two innings of play, as the Braves followed up two runs in the first with another run in the bottom of the second. But the Trojan bats answered the bell, stringing together five-straight runs over the next four innings to take the lead and eventually get the 7-5 win.

The Trojans began their game-one comeback in the top of the third when a two-out triple by Bentley was followed with an RBI single by Crumpton that made it a 3-1 game. The Trojans tacked on two more in the top of the fifth, as another two-out RBI single by Crumpton plated Thionnet, who doubled earlier in the inning, to make it a 3-2 game. Crumpton would score the tying run later in the inning on an RBI single by junior Chris Burk.

After the Braves went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, UALR went ahead with another two-run frame in the top half of the sixth. Bignall doubled to lead off the inning, and a triple by Johnson to center field brought in Bignall to give the Trojans the lead. Following a Bradley pitching change, senior Greg Garcia singled through to left side to score Johnson and push the UALR lead to two, 5-3.

Bradley pulled within one on an infield RBI by Greg Partyka in the bottom of the seventh, but UALR answered with Bentley's solo homer to lead off the eighth and regain its two-run cushion. Johnson led off the ninth with a double to right center and advanced to third on a passed ball. Bentley then doubled to right center to plate Johnson and give UALR a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

With Thionnet on to pitch for freshman Cameron Allen to ­­start the ninth, the Braves quickly put runners on first and second after a leadoff double by Rob Elliot was followed with a walk to Mike Tauchman. Elliot eventually scored on a throwing error by Johnson, but Thionnet recorded three strikeouts in the inning to pick up the save and give UALR the win.

Though Elliot would eventually score on a throwing error by Johnson, Thionnet recorded the three ninth-inning outs via strikeout to give UALR a 7-5 win.

Game Two - UALR 0, Belmont 3

Despite outhitting the Bruins, 8-4, and getting 6.0 innings of quality work from starter Austin Pfeiffer, the Trojans were shutout in their second game of the day against Belmont. The Bruins put up a run in the third before tacking on two more in the bottom of seventh and held UALR scoreless to win 3-0.

James Buckelew earned the win for Belmont, going 6.0 innings and surrendering no runs on five hits. Pfeiffer was dealt the loss despite going 6.0 innings and giving up just one run on three hits. Pfeiffer struck out five on the day while issuing just one walk. Garrett Fanchier closed out the ninth to pick up the save for Belmont.

Crumpton and Johnson led the UALR bats with two hits apiece. Crumpton went 2-for-3 and was hit by a pitch, while Johnson was 2-for-4 with a double. Bentley, Bignall, Burk and junior David Guarno each had one hit apiece for the Trojans.

Belmont manufactured its first run of the game in the bottom of the third. Dodd was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Pfeiffer got Mitchell to groundout for the second out of the inning, but a throwing error by Burk allowed Dodd to come home and give Belmont a 1-0 lead.

UALR threatened to even the score in the top of the seventh. With Josh Davis in to pitch for Buckelew to start the inning, a walk to Bignall and a double by Johnson gave UALR runners at second and third with just one out. But the Trojans were unable to capitalize, as Bignall was thrown out at the plate on an infield grounder, and Johnson was then caught stealing for the final two outs of the inning.

The Bruins put up two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Bubba Cooper entered the game for Pfeiffer to start the frame, but promptly issued walk and committed a throwing error to start the inning. A sacrifice error advanced both runners and, following a UALR pitching change, a single by Zac Mitchell to left scored both baserunners and gave Belmont a 3-0 lead.

The Trojans threatened to score in each of their final two sets of at bats. Bentley doubled and Crumpton was hit by a pitch to start the eighth, giving the Trojans two baserunners with one out on the board. A strikeout and a fielder's choice followed, however, to end the UALR threat. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bignall singled and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. But Fanchier escaped with no further damage, retiring the next two UALR batters to get out of the inning with the save and the win.

UALR returns to action on Friday, March 3, with the opener of a three-game series at UT Martin. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.

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