CONWAY, AR – The No. 6 seeded Central Arkansas Bears continued to roll in the Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, posting an 11-3 win against No. 7 McNeese State at Bear Stadium in Conway, Ark.
Central Arkansas used a big five-run fourth inning to take control of the game. The Bears opened the game with two unearned runs in the first inning and tacked on two more in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. In the fifth inning, the first six Bears reached base, scoring five runs, before the Cowboys recorded an out. UCA tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning to complete the Bears’ scoring.
UCA starter Connor Gilmore tossed a complete game for the Bears, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out two. He is the second Bear pitcher to go the distance in as many nights, giving the UCA bullpen a must needed rest in the tournament format.
McNeese fought back in the third inning with two runs to tie the game at the time. Left fielder James Cantu knocked in both runs for the Cowboys with a single. McNeese added one more run in the fifth inning when second baseman Andrew Guillotte knocked in Connor Lloyd on a fielder’s choice.
UCA was led by three players with multiple hits. Center fielder Doug Votolato, second baseman Chris Townsend and first baseman Scott Zimmerle each had two hits. Zimmerle knocked in three runs while Townsend had two RBI and Votolato had one.
McNeese was paced by Cantu, who had a 1-for-4 performance at the plate with two RBI.
Gilmore picked up the win to improve to 7-3 on the year. McNeese starter Bryce Kingsley was credited with the loss to fall to 5-5. Kingsley gave up nine runs, seven earned, on eight hits and two walks in three innings of work. Kingsley also recorded four strikeouts on the night.
Central Arkansas awaits the winner of tomorrow’s loser’s bracket game between No. 3 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and No. 7 McNeese. The Islanders and the Cowboys will play at noon. The Bears will play tomorrow at 7 p.m.