UALR Baseball Takes Series Finale at Georgia State

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ATLANTA, GA – UALR baseball (11-16, 8-6) took the series finale with Georgia State (19-14, 8-3) on Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-2.

Ryan Scott was a powerhouse at the plate on Sunday as he went 2 for 3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.

“What an unbelievable year Ryan Scott is having,” head coach Chris Curry said. “He has great leadership and toughness. He’s mad every time he gets an out, and he did a great job of leading us today.”

UALR scored the game’s first run in the top of the third inning. Kyle Barret walked with one out and then earned his first-career stolen base with two outs. Ryan Scott then hit an RBI-double to the right center gap to score Barret from second and take a 1-0 lead.

Georgia State answered the Trojans’ run in the top of the inning with a leadoff homer by Ryan Blanton in the bottom of the inning. GSU singled to center with no outs, and then flied out to right for the first out. The next batter for the Panthers hit a single up the middle, advancing the runner from first to third. Georgia State then popped up to short for the second out of the inning. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead with a single to center, allowing the runner from third to score.

Joseph Paulino led off the top of the 4th inning with a single to left and advanced to second on a balk. Justin Steelmon then came on to pinch run for Paulino. With a 3-2 count and one out, Drew Merten drew a walk. James Gillean roped a single into left to load the bases for the Trojans. Petr Sila grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Steelmon was able to score from third to tie the game at 2-2.

Ryan McSwain walked to lead off the top of the fifth inning. Scott then hit a two-run blast to right center for his second home run of the season, giving UALR a 4-2 lead. Tanner Rockwell then walked, and that was all for Georgia State’s starter.

Starter Sam Thoele pitched eight strong innings, setting a new career-high for innings pitched and earning his second win of the season. Cameron Allen earned his third save of the season by shutting down Georgia State in the bottom of the ninth inning to give UALR the win.

“Sam Thoele gave us exactly what we needed with a depleted bullpen by going eight innings,” Curry said. “He was a big game pitcher today, and that’s what he has the capability of doing. That’s why he has the chance to pitch at the next level. I’m also proud of Cam Allen. He had a rough night on Friday. We gave the ball right back to him today, and he got three big outs for us.”

With Sunday’s win, UALR moves to 8-6 in Sun Belt play and remains fifth in the conference standings.

“I can’t say enough about what this team showed today and how big of a win this is over Georgia State, the top team in the league,” Curry said. “They’re a very good team. To salvage a win here and not get swept is huge for our season moving forward, our psyche and mentality. We were leading in all three games, and to their credit, they came back and won the first two. I’m so proud of this team. This win really sets us up and keeps us in the hunt for the rest of the year.”

UALR will now travel to Ruston, La., for a pair of midweek non-conference games at Louisiana Tech on Tuesday and Wednesday.

(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)

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