CONWAY, AR – A pair of complete games from its pitching staff carried the University of Central Arkansas to a doubleheader sweep of the New Orleans Privateers in Southland Conference action on Saturday at Bear Stadium.
Junior Connor Gilmore tossed an 8-0 shutout in the opener, and junior Brandon Hagerla followed with a 6-1 complete game in the nightcap. The UCA offense had a combined 21 hits in the doubleheader, including 14 in the first game of the day.
Gilmore (7-2) turned in his fourth complete game in his last five starts and allowed just six hits, all singles. Hagerla allowed eight hits, with just one for extra bases. Neither Gilmore or Hagerla walked a batter as UCA had its third consecutive game without a walk, and third straight complete game after Tyler Gray’s win over UAPB on Wednesday.
In the opener, UCA exploded for four runs in the first inning off UNO starter Alex Smith, who lasted just one inning. Matt Anderson started it with a two-out single and Travis Hull and Brad Dillenberger followed with base hits, with Dillenberger driving in Anderson. Hayden Steele got the fourth straight single, scoring Hull
Shortstop Logan Preston then tripled down the left-field line to make it 4-0.
UCA, which left three runners on in the second inning, added two more runs in both the fourth and fith innings. The fouth-inning rally started with two outs again as Wesley Hoover and Anderson had back-to-back singles and both scored on Hull’s double to center. In the fifth, Nick Rougeau had a sacrifice fly and Langley doubled for the 8-0 margin.
Langley and Anderson both finished 3 for 5, with Anderson scoring twice. Hull went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI, while Hoover and Steele were both 2 for 4.
The Bears made the most of their seven hits in the second game as Dillenberger finished 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Preston, a junior from Texarkana, hit his team-high seventh home run of the year to move into a tie for first in the SLC.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Bears quickly answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of catcher Charles Deckard’s two-run single up the middle. UCA got another run in the sixth on Preston’s leadoff blast to left center, and added three more in the seventh to put it out of reach. Dillenberger had a two-run double into the left-field corner and Preston added a sacrifice fly for the 6-1 final.
Hagerla improved to 5-2 with his second complete game of the season.
Game 3 of the series is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.