PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Central Arkansas Bears got the go-ahead run in the seventh inning in a 6-5 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday afternoon at the Torii Hunter Complex.
UCA (28-20) got an RBI single to center field by designated hitter Cody Davenport to score Rigo Aguilar, who had doubled to lead off the inning. The Bears’ Brandon Hagerla and Ty Tice combined for three scoreless innnings from there to give UCA its fourth straight victory and sixth in its last seven games.
Sophomore first baseman Hunter Strong had a ninth-inning double to tie the UCA single-season record of 23 held by Zak Clark (2004). UCA head coach Allen Gum won for the 209th time at UCA, tying the school record held by Clark’s father Doug Clark (2003-10).
The Bears to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when junior right fielder Jansen McCurdy triples and junior catcher Justin McCarty brought him in with a two-out double. Designated hitter Cody Davenport then drew a bases-loaded walk for the second run.
UCA added a run in the second on a Keaton Presley double and a UAPB error. The Golden Lions (15-31) closed the gap to 3-2 in the third but UCA got another single run in the fourth on junior center fielder Dusty Wright’s leadoff home run to left field.
Both teams picked up a run in the fifth, with UCA’s coming on a Davenport base hit and Wright’s RBI double. The Golden Lions tied it with a pair of runs in the sixth before the Bears got the game-winner in the next inning.
McCurdy, McCarty, Davenport and Wright had two hits apiece for UCA. Junior infielder Lee Raley made his debut on the mound, pitching the seventh inning and earning the victory as the sixth of eight UCA pitchers.
The Bears return to Southland Conference action Friday against Southeastern Louisiana in a key Southland Conference series in Hammond, La. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Coverage is on The Bear 91.3 and ucasports.com/KUCA.