Lions rally, force split against Savage Storm

FORT SMITH — UAFS’ struggles in the Sooner State came to an end finally on Tuesday afternoon as the Lions split a non-conference doubleheader against the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm at The Ballpark in Durant.

A pair of hurlers combined on a three-hitter to lead the Savage Storm to a 5-0 win in the opening game, but the Diamond Lions rallied from an early 1-0 deficit in the second game to force a split with a 4-1 win.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak by the Diamond Lions (4-4), who were swept in a three-game series against the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

Devin Hampton (2-0) earned the win, allowing one earned run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Curtis Clark was 2 for 3 with one RBI to lead UAFS, while C.J. Nelson and Ryan Justus were each 1 for 4 with one RBI and Hurt was 1 for 3 with one RBI.

Savage Storm (4-5) starter Nick Johnson (1-2) allowed one hit and one walk with two strikeouts over five innings to win the first game, while reliever Matt Crenshaw allowed two hits with one walk and one strikeout over two innings.

All three UAFS hits were singles. Mitch Huckabay was 1 for 3, Justus was 1 for 3 and Justin Shealy was 1 for 2 for the Diamond Lions, who left seven runners on base.

Southeastern Oklahoma State touched two UAFS pitchers for five hits, including one extra-base hit. Diamond Lions starter Gatlin Watson (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs – three earned – on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Reliever Austin Duerr allowed one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings.

A-State falls to UAM

JONESBORO— The Arkansas State baseball suffered its first setback of the season in a 2-0 loss to Arkansas-Monticello Tuesday night at Tomlinson Stadium.

The Red Wolves scattered seven hits across six innings but failed to produce the timely in key situations throughout the night. Meanwhile, Derek Birginske took the loss despite pitching four innings of solid baseball. He gave up a leadoff single in the top of the first that turned into a run and then gave up another run in the fourth inning for the game’s only runs of the night.

UAM’s Zach McKnight (1-0) allowed only three hits while striking out six and walking none in the first five innings of the game. The Bentonville native picks up his first win of the season in his first start. Sophomore Gavin Johnston and junior Jeff Harvill relieved McKnight for the combined shutout by only giving up four more hits in the final four innings.

A-State’s bullpen shined in the loss, as six relievers combined to give up just one hit over the final six innings. Cody Woodhouse came on in relief of Birginske and gave up a hit in the sixth inning. Colton Kibler tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief and did not issue a hit or walk.

Tanner Gaines, Adam Grantham and Tyler Zuber combined to pitch the final two innings of the game to Arkansas-Monticello within striking distance.

Burgess and Levy each went 2-for-4 on the night, while Zach George, Austin Baker and Fitzpatrick each had hits.

Arkansas State will return to the diamond for a for a four-game series with Illinois State Feb. 21-23.

The Weevils stay on the non-conference portion of the schedule for its nextouting, a double-header against LeMoyne-Owen College on Wednesday at home starting at noon at Weevils Field.

Warriors win battle

CLARKSVILLE — The Hendrix College baseball team survived a wild game at the University of the Ozarks to claim their first victory of the season 14-11 at Lonnie Qualls Field on Tuesday afternoon.

The Warriors (1-4) outhit the Eagles (2-2) 18-6, but made nine errors, which tied the school record set against Arkansas State in 1924, and walked 10 batters.

Collin Radack went 3-for-5 at the plate with four runs scored, two driven in, a double, a home run and a stolen base. Ryan Ritz had three hits, two RBI and two steals and freshman left fielder Wyatt Hogan went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Thomas Weber, Matt Simmons and freshman Spencer Summers each had two hits.

Sophomore starter Brian Commerford (1-1) earned the win for Hendrix, going five innings and allowing one earned run, two walks and four hits. Nathan Cedor (0-1) had the loss for Ozarks with five hits, five runs, five walks and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

Hendrix will open their home schedule with a three-game series against Wabash beginning Saturday.

Trojans use five pitchers to shut out Redhawks

LITTLE ROCK – UALR baseball team gets another solid performance from its pitching staff in a 1-0 win over Southeast Missouri at Gary Hogan Field. Senior Ben Crumpton led off the game with a double and came around to score and the pitchers did the rest as UALR moved to 4-0.

Sophomore Chad Bradford got the start for the Trojans and went 4 1/3 innings allowing three hits while striking out a career high six batters. Bradford set the tone for the staff by throwing 16 first-pitch strikes to the 18 batters he faced. But he found himself in a jam with one out in the top of the fifth and bases loaded.

Sophomore Jesse Harbin worked a perfect sixth and got five outs while only facing four batters in his 1 2/3 innings to get the win. In the seventh it was freshman Cory Malcom’s turn to toe the rubber. Just like he did in his college debut Saturday against Creighton, Malcom shut down the offense. The Indiana native retired the side in order.

UALR also used Tanner Rockwell and Brent Mason to close out the game.

Crumpton led the offense going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and the game-winning run scored.Senior Austin Pfeiffer provided the game’s only RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The win moves UALR to 4-0 for the first time in Norwood’s tenure and the first time since 1999 when the team started 5-0.

The Trojans will be back in action on Friday at Gary Hogan Field to start their three-game series against Bradley.

Bears’ rally falls short to Shockers

WICHITA, Kan. — The University of Central Arkansas Bears rallied for five runs in the ninth inning Tuesday but dropped a 9-6 decision to the Wichita State Shockers at Eck Stadium.

UCA (1-3), which did not get its first hit of the game until the fifth inning, outscored WSU 6-1 over the final five innings but had dug too deep of a hole early. The Shockers (4-0) scored three runs in the second inning, four in the third and two more in the fourth for a 9-0 cushion.

UCA’s bullpen combination of freshman Riley Echols and senior Scott Zimmerle held the Shockers scoreless over the final four innings. Echols went three innings, allowing three hits and striking out three. Zimmerle allowed 1 hit and a walk but struck out two in the eighth inning.

Wesley Hoover went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI for the Bears, while Charles Deckard was 1 for 2 with 2 RBI. UCA finished with just six hits but also drew five walks.

UCA travels to Abilene Christian this weekend for games with the Wildcats on Friday and New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday and Sunday.

Harding, Ouachita Baptist split doubleheader

SEARCY — Harding and Ouachita Baptist split a pair of non-conference baseball games Tuesday at Jerry Moore Field. The Bisons won the opener 5-0, and the Tigers won game two 6-5.

Harding (6-3) and plays its first Great American Conference series Friday and Saturday against Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla.

Ouachita Baptist (8-4) plays at Southeastern Oklahoma this weekend.

In the opener, Harding scored five runs in the first three innings on only one hit. The Bisons took advantage of three walks and were hit by a pitch five times.

Harding starter Andrew Fiddler (1-1) had his second strong outing. He allowed only two hits and no runs in six innings and struck out eight for the second straight game. Bronson Smith closed out the game with one scoreless inning of relief.

Ouachita Baptist starter Austin Watson (0-2) did not allow a hit in two innings, but walked two and hit four and gave up four runs (two earned) and was saddled with the loss.

Harding’s two hits in game one were singles by John Chapman and James Anderson.

Harding scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning in game two with Calhoun singling in a run, Erin McCarver scoring one on a suicide squeeze, and Noah Chandler doubling in the third run.

Ouachita Baptist did all its damage in the second, scoring all six runs on three hits. The big blow of the inning was a two-run double by Tiger designated hitter Chris Tavares.

Harding scored one in the bottom of the second when Calhoun was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Calhoun drove in his third run of the game with a double to right field to make it 6-5, but Harding never could push across the tying run.

Sophomore starter Andrew Ralston (0-1) allowed four runs and took the loss in his first collegiate start. Tiger reliever Josh Reeves (2-0) pitched three innings and earned the win.

Calhoun was 2-for-3 with three RBI, and David McKenzie was 2-for-2 and scored twice.

Wonder Boys take down Reddies

RUSSELLVILLE — Senior Mason Reynolds struck out ten batters in seven innings, while senior Zac Johnson had two RBIs and one run as the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (8-2) defeated the Henderson State Reddies (2-8) 6-4 Tuesday night at Tech Field.

Tech had a 4-0 lead after the bottom of the third. After three scoreless innings, the Wonder Boys would add two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Reddies would answer back with two runs in the top of the eighth and two in the top of the ninth to narrow Tech’s lead 6-4.

Senior Mason Reynolds would take the win for the Wonder Boys after pitching 7 innings, allowing only three hits with no walks and striking out 10. Junior Randy Vallejo earned his third save for the Wonder Boys after pitching one scoreless inning.

The Wonder Boys will return to Tech Field this weekend to play four games against Quincy and St. Cloud State.