- UALR (15-9, 2-4 SBC) captured its first Sun Belt Conference series of the
season after taking the finale of its three-game series against Troy (11-11,
2-4 SBC) by a 7-3 score on Sunday at Gary Hogan Field. Sophomore Ethan Schlechte got the win for the
Trojans, carrying a no-hitter through 6.2 innings before ending the day with a
final line of one run on three hits in 7.2 innings of work.
"Today was a big win for us," said head coach Scott Norwood. "We got an outstanding
pitching performance from Ethan and we were able to really come through when we
needed it. Troy's an outstanding team and it means a lot for us to know that we
can come through against a team like that."
Schechlte's win improved his overall record to 2-0 on
the year. Troy starter Ryan Brady (0-2) was saddled with the loss after giving
up four runs on three hits before being relieved with two outs on the board in
the fourth. Sophomore Andrew Hohn
collected his first save of the season after retiring the only batter he faced
to close out the ninth inning.
The UALR offense put up eight hits on the day and was
led by senior Sean Bignall and
junior Blake Johnson, who each
chipped in with two hits apiece. Bignall was 2-for-4 with a triple, one RBI and
two runs scored. Johnson ended the day 2-for-3 with a walk, one RBI and one run
scored. Junior David Guarno blasted his second homer of the season, a three-run
shot over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth to cap a five-run
inning for the Trojans.
Offense was at a premium to start the game, as the two
teams combined for just one hit - a single by senior Nick Rountree in the bottom of the second - over the first three
innings of play. UALR finally had some success against Brady in the bottom of
the fourth, putting up five runs on three hits before the right-hander was
pulled for reliever Nate Hill.
Bignall's RBI triple off the right field fence brought in
the first run of the fourth for the Trojans. A single by junior Blake Johnson back up the middle then
plated Bignall to give UALR a two-run cushion. Brady hit sophomore Bryson Thionnet with a pitch to put two
men on for the Trojans, and followed by surrendering a three-run bomb to Guarno
that blew the game open and gave UALR a 5-0 lead.
The Trojans added a pair of runs to push its lead to seven
in the bottom of the fifth. Burk drew a one-out walk, then advanced all the way
to third on a failed pickoff attempt by the Troy pitcher. With Burk at third, Rountree
then executed the squeeze play to perfection, laying a bunt down between the
pitcher's mound and first base line that allowed Burk to slide into home and
make it a 6-0 game. Three straight singles by Bignall, Johnson and Thionnet
plated the second run of the inning for UALR to increase the lead to seven.
Troy got on the board with a solo homer by Boone Shear
in the eighth, then put up two runs in the ninth on a two-RBI double by Jakob
Nixon. Hohn then came on for freshman Cameron
Allen and got Tyson Workman to groundout to third to capture the game and
series victory for the Trojans.
UALR returns to action when it head to Stillwater,
Okla., on Tuesday to take on Oklahoma State. First pitch is slated for 6:30