LITTLE ROCK – The UALR baseball team (13-14, 2-6 SBC) picked up its third-straight victory and clinched its first Sun Belt series win of the season with an 11-3 win over ULM (10-17, 1-7 SBC) on Saturday at Gary Hogan Field. After heavy rain forced the game to start on a three-hour delay, the Trojans pounded out a season-high 15 hits while senior Blake Huffman surrendered just three runs while striking out 10 ULM batters in 8.0 innings of work.
Huffman improved to 3-1 on the season with the win on Saturday, and his 10 strikeouts were a career best. The Tyler, Texas-native gave way to freshman Jesse Harbin in the ninth, who recorded the final three outs in order to seal the UALR victory. ULM starter Alex Dumaine fell to 1-3 on the season after giving up four runs on five hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Juniors Austin Pfeiffer and John Clark led UALR’s offensive attack with three hits apiece on Saturday. Pfeiffer finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. Clark supplied a 3-for-4 effort that included two doubles while chipping in three RBI. Seniors Blake Johnson and Myles Parma were two of four UALR players to finish the game with two hits. Sophomore Sam Vogel and junior Bryson Thionnet also added two hits each.
UALR put up runs in six of its eight sets of at-bats Saturday night, but found itself in an early hole after ULM scored two runs in the top half of the first.
Huffman retired the first two Warhawks he faced to start the game, but ran into trouble when he allowed a two-out double to ULM’s Judd Edwards off the left field wall. An RBI single to left field by Justin Stawychny plated Edwards for the first ULM run of the inning, while Stawychny advanced to second on the throw to the plate. A single by Dalton Herrington then drove in Stawychny to give ULM a 2-0 lead after a half inning of play.
The Trojans supplied an immediate answer, putting up two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Doubles by Pfeiffer and Johnson plated the first UALR run of the frame. The Trojans scored their second run after Burk drew a walk on a wild pitch by Dumaine. After Johnson moved to third on the wild pitch, Burk turned the corner at first and started to make his way toward second. The Gig Harbor, Wash.-native’s attempt at second turned into a rundown, which allowed Johnson to slide into home for the game’s tying run.
UALR took its first lead of the game on a RBI single by Thionnet in the bottom of the second. Clark led off the inning with a single, and a one-out single by Vogel later in the frame gave the Trojans runners at first and second with one out. Thionnet’s single to center field plated Clark and chased Dumaine from the game. With Shelby Aulds now on to pitch for the Warhawks, Thionnet was caught trying to steal second base. But on ULM catcher Dalton Todd’s throw to second, Vogel broke for home and was able to beat the throw to the plate for the Trojans’ fourth run of the game.
Leading 4-2, UALR tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third to increase its lead to 6-2. Johnson hit a one-out double and Burk drew a walk with two outs to put two men on for Clark, who pulled a two-RBI double down the left field line to push UALR’s lead to four.
After a scoreless fourth, UALR added two runs in the bottom of the fifth. An RBI single by Parma and RBI double by Clark increased the Trojans’ lead to six at 8-2. An RBI double by Thionnet in the bottom of the sixth put the Trojans’ up 9-2, while Pfeiffer hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to make it an 11-2 game.
The Warhawks added one run on two hits in the ninth to bring the game to its 11-3 final score.
UALR and ULM will play game three of their series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gary Hogan Field. Junior Ethan Schlechte will get the start for the Trojans, while ULM’s starter is TBA.