UALR Loses in Extras to Georgia Southern

Sports
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LITTLE ROCK, AR – UALR baseball (14-21, 10-9) took its second straight loss to the Georgia Southern Eagles (23-16, 13-7) by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon at Gary Hogan Field. Due to Georgia Southern’s travel arrangements, tomorrow’s series finale at Gary Hogan field has been moved up to 12 p.m.

Kyle Kirk was UALR’s best offensive performer as he went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, a run and a walk on Saturday. Kirk’s reached base streak to now stands at 15 games while his hitting streak comes in at 11 games.

For the second game in a row, the Trojans allowed no errors on the scoreboard, but small slipups did present themselves in the Trojans’ loss.

“Mental mistakes are showing up when the margin of error is razor thin because Georgia Southern is very good,” head coach Chris Curry said. “That’s what’s frustrating. The guys are fighting hard, and there’s no question about that. They always have, and they will for the rest of the year. But, what’s frustrating is having missed opportunities.”

UALR put up the game’s first runs in the bottom of the first. Petr Sila hit a leadoff single to right center before Tanner Rockwell singled and advanced to second on an error by the right fielder. With runners at second and third and one out, Kirk reached on fielder’s choice while Sila scored from third to give UALR a 1-0 lead. With Kirk on first, Drew Merten drew the six-pitch walk. Georgia Southern gave up back-to-back walks as Sam Vogel trotted down to first on five pitches, loading the bases for the Trojans. Mitchell Scheuler came through with a single up the middle, scoring Merten and Kirk to give UALR a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

After scoreless innings in the second, third and fourth, Georgia Southern put up a run in the top of the fifth. Dalton Busby doubled to left center to lead off the inning, and then stole third with one out. Cody Lanford grounded out to third, but Busby safely crossed the plate for the Eagles’ first run.

Georgia Southern brought reliever Byron Yelverton out of the pen to begin the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Rockwell doubled to right center. Kirk earned his second RBI of the day with a single up the middle that scored Rockwell from second, extending the Trojans’ lead to 4-1.

Georgia Southern then rattled off one run each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 4-4.

Starter Cory Malcom set a career-high with seven strikeouts in six innings on the mound, giving up two runs on four hits in 93 pitches.

“Cory pitched outstanding,” Curry said. “He gave us an opportunity to win. He was fighting and battling. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he was good for six innings. He gave us everything we needed to win.”

With nothing doing in the ninth, the Trojans went to extra innings for the third time this season. The Eagles’ Kody Adams singled to center to begin the inning. Aaron Mizell then put Georgia Southern out front with a double to right center, allowing Adams to score all the way from first to give the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

Georgia Southern went to its seventh pitcher of the game, Chris Brown, to close. With one out, Kyle Barret singled up the middle and then advanced to second after Merten was hit by a pitch. Jason Prevatt came on to pinch run and give UALR some extra speed on the base paths. The Trojans wouldn’t get a chance to test the extra speed as a 6-4-3 double play ended the game.

“A quality opponent will only give you a very little amount of breathing room, and then they’re going to take advantage,” said Curry. “We’re battling, but again, there are no moral victories. That doesn’t make you feel any better, but you know the effort tomorrow is going to be there.”

The Trojans will to try to salvage a game from the series and avoid the sweep against Georgia Southern at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Gary Hogan Field.

(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)

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