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UCA Wins Game 1 Against SFA

Senior right-hander Caleb McClanahan made the most of his final start at Bear Stadium, striking out a career-high 10 batters to lead the University of Central Arkansas Bears to a 9-4 victory over Stephen F. Austin in their Southland Conference series opener on Friday night.
CONWAY, AR - Senior right-hander Caleb McClanahan made the most of his final start at Bear Stadium, striking out a career-high 10 batters to lead the University of Central Arkansas Bears to a 9-4 victory over Stephen F. Austin in their Southland Conference series opener on Friday night.

McClanahan, from Wynne, earned his league-leading ninth victory (9-4), allowing seven hits, one earned run and one walk. He also dropped his SLC-best earned run average to 1.68. Fellow senior Ethan McKinzie pitched the final two scoreless innings as UCA improved to 33-14 overall and 12-10 in league play to tie SFA and Lamar for fifth place.

After spotting the Lumberjacks (25-25, 12-10) a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on McClanahan’s only earned run of the night, UCA jumped on SFA starter Chase Greening for three runs in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff batter Forrestt Allday reached on the first of two SFA errors in the inning and moved to second on Jonathan Davis’ bunt single.

Ethan Harris laid down a bunt and Greening threw wildly to third in an attempt to get Allday, allowing him to score. Freshman Chris Townsend then grounded out to score Davis before Harris scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 UCA lead.

The Bears got another RBI from Townsend in the third inning on a single down the right-field line that brought in Harris. Allday’s RBI single to center field made it 5-1 in the fourth inning and the Bears chalked up two more in the fifth and sixth innings. Michael Marietta had an RBI single and Scott Zimmerle followed with an RBI double in the fifth. Garrett Powell replaced Greening in the sixth and gave up Harris’ two-run triple down the right-field line, good for a 9-1 lead.

The Lumberjacks put up three runs in the seventh, with the aid of two UCA errors, but McClanahan got the SLC’s leading hitter Hunter Dozier to ground out to shortstop to end the threat. Dozier finished 1 for 4 on the night.

Harris was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored for the Bears, who were outhit 9-7 by the Lumberjacks. Rene Moreda went 3 for 5 for SFA.

Game 2 is set for 4 p.m. Saturday. with “Senior Day” activities scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday. 
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