BOCA RATON, Fla. – UALR (24-23, 10-14 Sun Belt) moved back over the .500 mark with a 10-5 win over Florida Atlantic (28-19, 13-11) Sunday afternoon (May 5) at FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. It was the first conference series win on the road this season for the Trojans.
Senior Blake Huffman took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Senior Tyler Buckley toed the rubber for the final 1.1 innings.
From the plate, senior John Clark and junior Kaleb Jobe both added two hits in four at-bats. Jobe had a run scored and three RBI while Clark scored three times, also reaching base on a walk. Senior Chris Burk hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth for a pair of critical insurance runs.
UALR was issued a free base on a walk or hit by pitch seven times in the game, four of which scored. That includes five free bases in a five-run fourth, four of which crossed home plate.
Kyle Miller took his first loss of the season in four decisions for Florida Atlantic, surrendering six runs on four hits, three walks and three plunked batters in four innings of work.
Both Levi Meyer and Ricky Santiago led the FAU charge in the final two innings with a pair of hits, finishing the day 2-for-4. Meyer added a run and RBI while Santiago plated two runners.
After a quiet first inning, UALR struck first in the second. Clark began the inning with an infield single, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on senior Myles Parma's RBI single.
The Trojans took advantage of free passes to break the game wide open in the fourth with a five-run frame. With one out, Clark and Parma were hit with a pitch and Burk was walked to load the bases. Jobe followed with a double down the right-field line to score a pair of Trojans. Juniors Bryson Thionnet and Ben Crumpton walked to plate another run. Junior Austin Pfeiffer capped the inning with a two-run single.
Huffman continued to frustrate Owl hitters from the plate. Through seven innings, only one FAU batter reached when he struck out and UALR threw wildly to first trying to complete the out. Offensively for UALR, Pfeiffer added a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Jobe an RBI single in the seventh to open up a Trojan 8-0 advantage.
In the eighth, Florida Atlantic ended the no-hitter when Sanger and Meyer led off the inning with singles. After a groundout put runners on the corners, Santago singled in a run to end the shutout. Huffman got the next batter swinging, but an RBI single by Nathan Pittman ended Huffman’s day. Buckley struck out the final batter looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the Florida Atlantic threat.
UALR added a pair in the ninth. Clark singled and Burk homered to right field to open up a 10-2 UALR lead. FAU plated three runs in the bottom of the inning, but Buckley struck out Sean Murrell swinging to end the ballgame.
It was the second-straight year UALR lost the first game on the road in south Florida only two win the final two games for the series win. The Trojans lost the Friday game to FIU in 2012 but went on to win the final two games in Miami.
UALR returns to action Tuesday (May 7) when it travels to Dickey-Stephens Park to take on Central Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.