UALR Baseball Ends Season With Win Over Rival Arkansas State

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JONESBORO, AR – UALR baseball ended the 2015 season with a 4-3 win over rival Arkansas State on Saturday.

Head coach Chris Curry ended the 2015 season with a conference record of 12-17, the best mark for a first-year UALR baseball coach in program history. UALR’s 12 Sun Belt wins also top last year’s total of 11.

“It’s hard every year on the last out to look the seniors in the eye and thank them for all that they’ve done, especially this group with as much as they’ve been through,” Curry said. “They’ve been resilient and persevered, and I couldn’t be more proud to be their coach. They have set the foundation not only with this win, but for years to come as far as where we’re headed as a program.”

UALR started the game with leadoff single up the middle by Petr Sila and advanced to second on a walk to Ryan Scott. With one out, Kyle Kirk walked to load the bases for the Trojans. The Red Wolves’ Derek Birginske walked his third batter of the inning as Justin Steelmon took first while Sila crossed the plate for the Trojans’ first run. Birginske’s day then came to an early end after only pitching a third of an inning.

With bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, the Red Wolves got an RBI ground out to second to tie the game at 1-1. After a walk, ASU flew out to center to end the inning with bases loaded.

As the rain began to fall, A-State took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Austin Baker began the inning with a leadoff single to center field. With two outs, Collin Massanelli singled to left and advanced to second on an error while Baker scored the go-ahead run.

UALR took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Steelmon got on base with an infield single to second base. Drew Merten hit a shallow single into right as Steelmon advanced to second. Merten and Steelmon advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch before Steelmon scored on an RBI ground out by Hayden Martin to tie the game. After Brandon Gil walked on four pitches, Sam Vogel singled to right center as Merten scored the Trojans’ third run of the game.

Scott led off the fifth inning with a single through the left side. Tanner Rockwell then singled to center as Scott made his way over to third with no outs. Scott gave UALR a 4-2 lead as he scored on an RBI ground out to second.

A-State’s Tanner Ring doubled down the right field line with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Zach George walked on four pitches, Joe Schrimpf singled through the left side as Ring scored to cut UALR’s lead to 4-3.

The Red Wolves came close to tying the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on third, but a strikeout ended Arkansas State’s threat. ASU finally surrendered to UALR in the bottom of the ninth inning with a fly out, ground out and a strike out.

The Trojan pitching staff of Cory Malcom, Stephen Chandler, Dyllon Brownmiller and Cameron Allen held the Red Wolves to just seven hits.

“Trojan fans should be so proud of how hard they played down to the last out and never gave up,” Curry said. “That’s who we are. To be one-game short of our goal is bitter, but in the end it’s all about the journey, the fight and how you play the game the right way every day. I’m honored to have coached this team, and I cannot wait until next February.”

(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)

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