LITTLE ROCK - After a weekend of tough losses, the UALR baseball team (10-7) bounced back in resounding fashion with a defiant 12-2 win over the UT Arlington Mavericks (9-7) on Tuesday from Gary Hogan Field. UALR exploded for 12 runs on 10 hits, led by junior Austin Pfeiffer's 4-for-5 performance. Pfeiffer also recorded two RBIs and added two runs scored to his credit, helping UALR end a four game losing streak.
Junior Ben Crumpton scored four runs and parked a three-run home run, while senior John Clark added a solo home run of his own and contributed three RBIs as well from the clean-up spot. Senior Blake Johnson enjoyed a 1-for-2 day at the plate with one run scored and two RBIs, rounding out the offensive highs for the Trojans.
UTA Arlington took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the first inning, but the UALR offense responded with an onslaught of runs. The Trojans struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning, the first of which coming on an RBI-infield single by Johnson, scoring Crumpton and advancing Pfeiffer to second base. After a fly-out advanced Pfeiffer to third base, a double steal by Johnson and Pfeiffer translated into the Trojan's second run of the afternoon. In the first frame, UALR sent seven batters to the plate en route to a 2-1 advantage.
Pfeiffer was the vocal point of the offense again in the top of the second inning, delivering a two-out RBI-single to centerfield that scored Crumpton for UALR's third run of the game. The run gave UALR a 3-2 lead after UT Arlington tied the game at two in the top of the second. In the third inning, Clark's solo home run over the left field fence, his second home run of the season, extended UALR's lead to 4-2.
Freshman Jesse Harbin retired the side in the third and fourth inning, providing stability out of the bullpen after starting pitcher Chad Bradford was pulled after the one inning of work. Harbin pitched 4.0 innings in relief, struck out five batters and only gave up one hit, as he garnered his first collegiate win.
The Trojans kept their foot on the gas pedal offensively, scoring five more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Crumpton provided the big blow in the inning with a three-run home run over the right field fence. For Crumpton, his second home run of the season extended his hitting streak to a team-high 10 games. UALR added two more runs in the frame courtesy of a two-run double down the left field line by Clark. After four complete innings, UALR held a commanding 9-2 lead.
Pfeiffer was at it again the home half of the sixth inning, driving an RBI-single to centerfield that kick-started a three-run frame for UALR. Johnson and junior Bryson Thionnet both drew bases-loaded walks to push across the other two runs, extending the Trojans lead to 12-2.
After Harbin, the combination of sophomore Cameron Allen, senior Tyler Buckley, and freshman Corbin Carter combined for four innings of scoreless baseball. All together, the Trojan's bullpen combined for eight innings pitched and scattered only two base hits, effectively shutting down the Maverick's offense after two early runs.
The Trojans return to action Friday, March 15 for their conference opener against in-state rival Arkansas State. First pitch from Gary Hogan Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.