LITTLE ROCK – UALR got another great outing from Cameron Allen to grab a 9-2 win over Georgia State and take the series win at Gary Hogan Field.
Allen pitched a complete game for the Trojans (13-16, 3-9 SBC) allowing two runs on five hits while striking out a career-high nine Panthers (15-18, 4-8 SBC). The complete game was Allen’s second this season, but first nine-inning performance.
The offense was led by Justin Steelmon. The first baseman drove in five runs going 4-for-4 with a walk at the plate. With his five-RBI performance, Steelmon tied Drew Merten’s single-game high for a Trojan this season. Merten drove in five on Friday against GSU.
The first inning started innocently enough as GSU went down in order and UALR was a strike away from doing the same before Tanner Rockwell lined a ball into center field. The ball got down just in front of a diving Ryan Blanton to allow Rockwell to race around the bases for a triple. Steelmon stepped to the plate and singled up the middle to score Rockwell and give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
The Trojans scored again in the third as Steelmon singled Austin Pfeiffer to the plate.
The Panthers got on the board in the fourth with a solo home run from Matt Rose to make the score 2-1.
UALR answered right back and blew the game open with a five-run rally. Bryson Thionnet singled before being forced out on a fielder’s choice. Merten doubled to left field to put runners on second and third for Hayden Martin. Martin, then, singled back through the middle to bring in two and give the Trojans a 4-1 lead.
The inning continued when Petr Sila chopped a double over the third baseman’s head and again put two runners in scoring position. Pfeiffer drew a walk before Steelmon came up with yet another big hit scoring Martin and Sila before Pfeiffer was able to race home as GSU tried to keep Steelmon from advancing to second. UALR scored five runs on five hits and sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning to take a 7-1 lead into the fifth.
For the second straight inning, GSU was able to score a run against Allen as Chris Triplett led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Bowder. But that was all the Panthers could muster against the Trojans’ right-hander.
Thionnet’s RBI single drove in Steelmon in the seventh to add another Trojan run.
In the following inning Steelmon continued his stellar day with a fourth single to drive in his fifth run of the game to make it 9-2.
Allen kept it there as he pounded the strike zone throwing 70 percent of his pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a batter all day. The junior put an exclamation point on his performance by going right through the heart of GSU’s order in the ninth with two strikeouts and a weak chopper to end it.
Sila and Thionnet joined Steelmon with multi-hit games. Sila had a single, double, stolen base and scored twice. Thionnet had two singles and an RBI. Martin had a single and two RBIs. Merten added a double as Pfeiffer Joseph Paulino and Rockwell’s triple rounded out the hits.
The Trojans will be on the road all next week starting with a non-conference game at Oklahoma State on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The team will hit the road again next weekend when it travels to Lafayette, La for a three-game series against conference-leading UL Lafayette.