UALR Falls on Another Walk-Off Hit by Indiana State

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – For the second straight game, UALR baseball (14-25) fell on a walk-off hit by Indiana State (19-21) in the bottom of the ninth inning to take 2-1 loss on Sunday.

Sunday’s game was a pitching duel all the way through as the Trojans and Sycamores combined for just six hits. Cory Malcom pitched five innings before giving way to Sam Thoele to begin the sixth. Malcom struck out four while only allowing a hit and a run.

“I thought Cory threw the ball extremely well,” head coach Chris Curry said. “He put himself in a hole with the unearned run by trying to make a spectacular throw to first, and I thought Thoele did outstandng out of the bullpen.”

Indiana State put up its first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Landon Curry reached on a throwing error to first and proceeded to advance to second to lead off the inning. Right after, another fielding error by the Trojans allowed Curry to score from second to give the Sycamores a 1-0 lead.

After the Sycamores held the Trojans hitless for seven innings, UALR struck for one run on two hits in the top of the eighth. Drew Merten walked on seven pitches before Jason Prevatt came on to pinch run. Justin Steelmon laid a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, allowing Prevatt to advance to second. After moving over to third on a ground out, Prevatt crossed the plate to tie the game at 1-1 on an RBI single to left field by Ryan McSwain.

“The two freshman, Barret and McSwain, swung the bat well, and Drew Merten really played well,” Curry said. “He made five or six key blocks and threw out three runners.”

The Trojans went down in order to begin the ninth inning, meaning they would have to hold off the Sycamores in the bottom of the inning to force extras. Jacob Hayes walked on seven pitches to begin the bottom frame, and then advanced to second on sacrifice bunt by Andy Young. With one out, Connor McClain was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. For the second game in a row, Manuel Estevez delivered the game winning walk-off hit as Hayes came around to score.

“It’s very frustrating to lose five of our last six games by two runs or less. What it boiled down to this weekend was a lack of execution on offense.We’re just in a rough patch right now. We’re in one of those baseball stretches where it’s tough. We’re playing very good teams, and the margin of error is razor thin as I’ve said all year. We need production at the top of the lineup, and we’ll get it. There’s no question about that because they’re good hitters, and good hitters are going to hits.”
UALR’s silver lining with the recent losses is its unchanged 10-10 Sun Belt record with conference-foe UT Arlington on the docket for next weekend.

“Even after this rough stretch where things haven’t gone our way, our conference record is still in the top half of the league, and we can still accomplish our season goals,” Curry said.
UALR will now travel to Stillwater, Okla., as it faces No. 9 Oklahoma State in a midweek non-conference game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)

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