PINE BLUFF, AR – The Trojans jumped out to an early lead but couldn’t hold on and suffered a walk-off 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Golden Lions at the Torii Hunter Complex.
UALR (16-22) lost a lead but came back to tie it in the ninth, but an RBI single from Mike Wieland sent UAPB (17-23) home winners.
The Trojans built their 3-0 lead in the first inning when Ben Crumpton led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Rockwell. Joseph Paulino added to the lead with an RBI single that drove in Austin Pfeiffer. The early rally continued when Sam Vogel brought in Justin Steelmon with an RBI groundout.
UAPB got on the board in the third when UALR starter Jake Busiek struggled with command and allowed two runs.
Busiek worked 2.1 innings allowing two runs and struck out three. Stephen Chandler replaced him and went 1.2 innings while giving up a hit and striking out a batter.
However in the fifth, the offense produced another run when Paulino’s RBI-groundout allowed Pfeiffer to score and make it 4-2.
Two costly errors by the Trojans in the fifth allowed the Golden Lions to pull back within a run headed to the sixth. Josh Merrill pitched 1.1 innings allowing one unearned run on one hit.
Dillon Moritz came on for Merrill and got the last two outs of the sixth before Chase Rousseau came on in the seventh. An error, a walk and a double steal moved runners to second and third against Rousseau before Rashawn Tillman lifted a sacrifice fly into left field. The flyout brought a run in to score before a throwing error allowed the second runner to score on the play to give UAPB a 5-4 lead.
Trailing by one with the bases loaded and down to their last out the Trojans’ hope rested on Petr Sila.The junior drew a walk to score Crumpton to tie the game but UAPB held them there.
In the 10th the Golden Lions got runners on first and second against Travis McDonald when Wieland came up and gave UAPB the game-winning hit.
Jesse Harbin and McDonald each pitched 1.2 innings, Harbin allowed two hits and struck out one while McDonald allowed a run on three hits and struck out two.
The offense was led by Paulino who had two hits and two RBI’s. Crumpton had a double and scored twice while Pfeiffer had a hit and two runs scored. Rockwell and Drew McCurry had the team’s other two hits.
The Trojans will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host Central Arkansas at Gary Hogan Field with the first pitch at 6:00 p.m.