Bears Win Fifth Straight

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HOUSTON, TX – The University of Central Arkansas Bears won their fifth straight game overall and their fifth consecutive Southland Conference game Friday afternoon, downing the Houston Baptist Huskies 4-1 in the series opener at Husky Field.

Senior right hander Cody Davenport allowed the Huskies’ only run in the first and then teamed with sophomore Gavin Stone to keep HBU off the board the rest of the way. The Bears (22-20, 12-7) had two two-run innings and pounded out 11 hits. Davenport (4-3), the SLC leader in earned-run average, went seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out seven and walking two. Stone pitched the final two innings for his third save, allowing no hits and recording a pair of strikeouts.

Davenport dropped his ERA to 1.53 and also set the school record for innings pitched. He now stands at 337 career innings, surpassing Conner Gilmore’s record.

The Bears, who swept league-leader Sam Houston at home last week, picked up two runs in the top of the third inning to take the lead for good. Catcher Nathaniel Sagdahl doubled in Kolby Johnson, and one out later, center fielder Josh Ragan did the same for Sagdahl for a 2-1 lead. In the seventh, Alonso Bibiano, Joshmar Doran and Johnson had consecutive singles to start the inning. Sagdahl’s ground out and Jay Anderson’s sacrifice fly pushed UCA’s lead to 4-1.

Junior third baseman Beau Orlando finished 3 for 4 for the Bears, while Doran and Johnson had two hits apiece. Sagdahl had two runs batted in and scored a run. Trent Franson had two of HBU’s six hits. Husky starter Zach Carter (3-7) took the loss, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs while striking out six.

Game 2 of the series is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.   

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