Trojan starter Sam Thoele allowed three runs in the first, but seven runs in the first three frames by the offense gave the team all it needed to take the win. Austin Pfeiffer led the way for the offense going 2-for-5 with a home run to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
A day after leading 5-0, UTA jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just one inning thanks to a homer by Greg McCall and Thoele’s struggle to find command.
But UALR, which had a five-run rally in the seventh to tie last night’s game, didn’t wait that long to mount its comeback today. Pfeiffer launched the second pitch he saw over the left field fence to put the team on the board. The Trojans got two more runners on via walks by Brad Vachon before Drew Merten stepped to the plate and collected an RBI single. Petr Sila evened the score with run-scoring single of his own before UTA pulled starter Brad Vachon after getting just two outs.
The Trojans moved ahead in the second inning as Sam Vogel walked and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Drew McCurry, one of three by the junior on the day. Pfeiffer singled to center andBen Crumpton drove in Vogel with an infield single.
Then, Tanner Rockwell drew a walk to load the bases with one out as the Mavericks went to their third pitcher in just the second inning. Reliever Jess Amedee came in and walked Justin Steelmon andBryson Thionnet to score Pfeiffer and Crumpton to give UALR a 6-3 lead before UTA turned to its fourth pitcher, Keegan Hucul.
Hucul got out of the second without any more damage, but allowed a run in the third when McCurry drove in Vogel with a sacrifice bunt.
Thoele was able to settle in and keep UTA at three runs into the fifth, but ran into trouble after 4.2 innings with a climbing pitch count. Lefty Chase Rousseau relieved Thoele and got out of a jam by getting the Mavericks’ back-to-back left-handed hitters to fly out.
Ethan Schlechte got the first two batters of the sixth out. But then he allowed a hit and two walks and was replaced on the hill by Dyllon Brownmiller with the bases loaded. Brownmiller induced a groundball but a throwing error allowed two runs to score before he could get the third out.
The Trojans added an insurance run in the seventh as Sila and Vogel singled and Sila scampered home on McCurry’s bunt giving UALR a 8-5 lead.
However, in the top of the eighth the Mavericks got the run back with a sacrifice fly by Derek Miller off of Brownmiller to get back within two runs at 8-6.
Cory Malcom came in and closed out the game to earn the first save of his career.
Sila and Vogel each joined Pfeiffer in having multi-hit games. McCurry and was the lone Trojan with two RBI’s while six others had one.
UALR and UTA will meet again on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the rubber game at Gary Hogan Field.
(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)
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