LITTLE ROCK – A day after failing to score in 10 innings, UALR broke out in a big way in route to a 10-4 win over Troy at Gary Hogan Field.
The offensive explosion was fueled by two-home run days by Bryson Thionnet and Sam Vogel as well as a three-run blast by Justin Steelmon.
As he has done all year, Sunday starter Cameron Allen gave UALR (16-21, 5-13 SBC) a chance to win with a solid start against Troy (20-20, 7-10 SBC). The win moved Allen to 4-0 when pitching at Gary Hogan Field this season.
UALR fell behind 1-0 as David Hall doubled in Clay Holcomb to give Troy the lead in the top half of the first.
But, in the bottom of the first the UALR offense awakened from its slumber in a big way with five runs. Austin Pfeiffer singled and Tanner Rockwell walked before Steelmon sent a line drive well over the left field wall for his first homer of the year to give UALR a 3-1 lead. Thionnet followed with another home run giving UALR its first back-to-back bombs of the season. After Drew Merten was retired Vogel gave the team its third home run of the inning and consequently a 5-1 lead.
Pfeiffer, again, got things rolling in the second with a one-out double and scored on Rockwell’s single to right. Rockwell later came around to score on a wild pitch to give UALR a 7-1 lead.
Holcomb started Troy’s half of the third with a single and later came around to when Garrett Pitts hit into a double play to cut UALR’s lead to five.
Thionnet provided more fireworks in the fifth with a two-run home run that brought in Rockwell and gave UALR a 9-2 lead. It was Thionnet’s second homer of the game, third of the series and team-leading seventh of the season. It was also the 20th of his career as a Trojan tying him with Sean Bignall and Jason Houston for second on the UALR career home runs list. Guy Giuffre is the only player with more with 22 in his career.
In the eighth, Hall got his second home run of the series off of Allen to bring Troy with six at 9-3. Troy was able to plate another run with an RBI-double by Jakob Nixon that ended Allen’s day on the mound. Dillon Moritz came in to replace Allen with a runner on second and two outs and got the first batter he faced to fly out to Vogel in right field to end the threat.
Allen pitched 7.2 innings allowing four runs while scattering 11 hits and striking out seven.
Vogel capped off UALR’s powerful output with his second homer of the afternoon in the eighth inning.
Mortitz finished off Troy with a perfect ninth and pitched 1.1 innings without allowing a batter to reach base.
Thionnet and Vogel each had two home runs, Thionnet had three RBI’s and Vogel had two. Steelmon’s homer was his only hit and produced three RBI’s for the team. Rockwell went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored. Ben Crumpton had the team’s other hit with a single.
The series win is UALR’s second straight series win at home. The team will play two in-state games in the midweek traveling to UAPB on Tuesday for a game at 3:00 p.m. before hosting Central Arkansas at home on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The Trojans will resume conference play over the weekend in a road series at Western Kentucky.