NORMAN, OK – A solid start from Chad Bradford and two big offensive rallies carry UALR to a 11-2 win over Oklahoma at L. Dale Mitchell Stadium.
The Sooners (16-6) jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but UALR (10-8) battled back scoring five in the third before tacking on six more insurance runs, with four coming in the sixth. Tanner Rockwell stayed hot to lead the offense, which had one of its best and most-balanced nights of the season with eight of the nine starters collecting hits.
After the Trojans went down in order in the top of the first, Bradford retired the first two batters he faced. A two-out double from Sheldon Neuse put a runner in scoring position. Bradford followed by walking Nike Buentello before Mac James brought Neuse in on an error to make it 1-0 Sooners.
Jason Prevatt led off the third by drawing a walk and Ben Crumpton followed with a single to left to give UALR runners on first and second with no outs. Austin Pfeiffer then sacrificed the runners up a base for the middle of the order. On a two-strike count to Tanner Rockwell a Hansen pitch got away from the catcher to allow Prevatt to score to tie it. Rockwell was then hit by a pitch to give the Trojans runners on the corners with one out.
Justin Steelmon, then, slashed the first pitch he saw to right field to score Crumpton and grab a 2-1 lead. Bryson Thionnet took a 1-1 pitch into right center field to bring Rockwell in to score and give UALR a 3-1 lead. The Sooners made a call to the bullpen to bring in Octavio Rodriguez to replace Hansen. Ryan Scott drew a walk before Joseph Paulino was hit by a pitch to bring in Steelmon. Sam Vogel hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in Thionnet and give the Trojans a 5-1 lead.
Scott started another Trojans’ rally by drawing a walk in the fifth. Paulino followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. OU came within a strike of getting out of the jam but Crumpton drove a 2-2 pitch through the left side to tack two more runs and make it 7-1.
Rockwell started the sixth with a single to center. Steelmon then hit into a fielder’s choice to second, but OU was unable to get either runner as the second baseman decided to throw to second late. Scott walked and then Paulino slugged another RBI single. Vogel then laced a ball into right field to score two runs and give UALR a 10-1 lead. Crumpton’s fly ball to right field drove in Paulino and make it a 10-run lead.
In the seventh the Sooners added a run with a sacrifice fly from Hunter Haley and UALR made the call to bullpen for Sam Thoele ending Bradford’s night. Bradford tied his career best with 6.2 innings pitched in picking up his second win on the season. The sophomore allowed two runs—one earned—on four hits while striking out two against the Big 12's best offense.
Rockwell continued his seven-game hitting streak going 2-for-3 to go along with two runs scored, two walks and a hit by a pitch. Paulino went 3-for-3 with two RBIs for his first career multi-RBI game. Crumpton posted two hits, three RBIs and scored a run while Vogel had a hit and three RBIs. Oklahoma natives Steelmon and Thionnet each had RBI-singles. Pfeiffer added two hits as Prevatt added a hit and two walks and Scott drew three walks. The Trojans tied a season high with 13 hits and 11 runs while drawing seven walks.
With the win the Trojans have a four-game winning streak against OU. They also snapped a six-game road losing streak.
The Trojans will be back at Gary Hogan Field on Friday at 6:00 p.m. to open their series with South Alabama. The Jaguars opened conference play by splitting their two games with Troy.
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