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It's been a pretty good run recently for Arkansas teams in the Sun Belt Conference.

Arkansas State University won Friday and Saturday to claim a three-game series victory against then-No. 14 Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C.

Then on Tuesday, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock downed No. 9 Arkansas, 17-7, at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.

Not to be outdone, the University of Central Arkansas also pulled out a big nonconference victory on the road Tuesday when the Bears went to Stillwater, Okla., and defeated perennial Big 12 power Oklahoma State.

ARKANSAS STATE

A surprise start?

The Red Wolves' conquering of the Chanticleers (20-10-1, 6-3 Sun Belt) was Coastal Carolina's first conference series loss this season and a high point for ASU.

"Every team wants to get off to a good start," said ASU Coach Tommy Raffo. "Obviously, we've handled some challenges well. But you've still got a majority of league play left."

ASU (19-11, 7-2) is off to its best start in conference play since the 2012 season.

ASU was predicted to finish fifth in the Sun Belt's West Division by the league's coaches. The Red Wolves are currently tied for first place with Texas-Arlington.

Is such a start a surprise to Raffo?

"That's a good question," he said. "I don't really know how to answer that. ... The biggest thing for us is to play the game right. We've been in a position to win games, and we've done that."

ASU will open a three-game series at 6:30 p.m. today against Louisiana-Lafayette (15-16, 4-5) at "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, La.

UALR

Outs add up at end

UALR Coach Chris Curry knew he broke an unwritten rule during the Trojans' victory over the Razorbacks.

"In the eighth inning," he said, "I started counting outs."

When Curry looked up, the Trojans (11-18, 5-4 Sun Belt) were well on the way to defeating the Razorbacks in the first-ever regular-season meeting between the two schools.

"How many outs do we have left?" Curry asked himself. "I was standing there going, just throw it over the plate ... And it worked out."

Curry's phone quickly lit up with congratulatory text messages.

"Fifty text messages that night," he said. "Another 30 the next morning. Bottom line, I'm just happy for the program. I'm happy for the program to at least be able to compete on that level.

"And I'm happy for our players that they weren't afraid of that big moment."

Curry was an assistant on Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn's staff in 2009-10 in Fayetteville. Other than Tuesday, one of the few times Curry counted outs was in 2009, when the Razorbacks defeated Florida State in the 2009 Super Regional to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

"I remember that feeling," Curry said. "There's been a couple of games that were big games against ranked opponents here at Little Rock ... But this was probably the biggest one, just because of the magnitude of it -- the first game of the rivalry and what it meant."

The Trojans return to the field at 6:30 p.m. today when they travel to Texas-Arlington.

UCA

Rebound victory

Overshadowed by ASU and UALR's success in the past week, UCA produced an 8-4 victory over Oklahoma State.

UCA's victory was a rebound for the Bears, who were swept in three games by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last weekend.

With poor weather expected Saturday and Sunday, the Bears (13-16, 6-6 Southland Conference) will host McNeese State (15-14, 3-6) in a doubleheader today and complete the series at a time to be determined Saturday.

The first game today is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

UAPB

Kreutzer leads way

The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-22, 2-10 Southwestern Athletic Conference) is the only league team with 10 losses.

However, UAPB has won two of its past three games -- including a 6-4 victory Wednesday at Stephen F. Austin -- and will begin a three-game series against Prairie View A&M (10-21, 5-7) at 3 p.m. today at Torii Hunter Complex in Pine Bluff.

UAPB redshirt junior infielder Nick Kreutzer leads the SWAC with a .684 slugging percentage.

Kreutzer is fourth in RBI (31), second in doubles (9), ninth in batting average (.368) and seventh in on-base percentage (.474).

CONFERENCE STANDINGS

Sun Belt

WEST DIVISION

CONF. ALL

Arkansas State 7-2 19-11

Texas-Arlington .7-2 19-11

Texas State ........6-3 19-10

UALR............ 5-4 11-18

La.-Lafayette ......4-5 15-16

La.-Monroe........2-7 11-18

EAST DIVISION

CONF. ALL

Cstl. Carolina .....6-3 20-10-1

Ga. Southern .....5-4 16-13

Appalachian St. .4-5 12-15

Troy....................3-6 14-14

South Alabama ..3-6 13-15

Georgia State.....2-7 9-20

TODAY’S GAMES

All times Central

La.-Monroe at Ga. St., 5 p.m.

Ga. So. at App. St., 5 p.m.

Troy at Texas State, 6 p.m.

ASU at La.-Lafayette, 6:30 p.m.

UALR at Texas-Arlington, 6:30 p.m.

Coastal Carolina at S. Alabama, 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Ga. Southern at Appalachian St., noon

La.-Monroe at Ga. St., 1 p.m.

UALR at Texas-Arlington, 2 p.m.

Troy at Texas State, 2:30 p.m.

ASU at La.-Lafayette, 4 p.m.

Coastal Carolina at S. Alabama, 6:30 p.m.

Southland

CONF. ALL

Sam Hou. St. .....9-3 17-9

Incarnate Word .8-4 19-10

TAMU-CC ..........8-4 20-11

Nicholls State ....8-4 17-13

S.F. Austin .........8-4 14-16

SE Louisiana .....6-3 14-15

NW (La.) State ..6-6 16-11

Cent. Arkansas 6-6 13-16

McNeese State ..3-6 15-14

Abilene Chr. .......3-6 14-14

New Orleans ......3-9 15-14

Hou. Baptist ......2-7 8-20

Lamar ...............2-10 10-19

TODAY’S GAMES

All times Central

McNeese St. at UCA (DH), 1 p.m.

Nicholls St. at NW (La.) St. (DH), 3 p.m.

Inc. Word at Abilene Christian, 5 p.m.

S.F. Austin at UC Santa Barbara, 5 p.m.

Hou. Baptist at TAMU-CC, 6 p.m.

Lamar at SH State, 6:30 p.m.

SE Louisiana at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

McNeese St. at UCA, TBA

SE La. at New Orleans, 2 p.m.

Incarnate Word at Abilene Christian, 2 p.m.

Nicholls St. at NW (La.) State, 2 p.m.

Lamar at SH State, 3 p.m.

Hou. Baptist at TAMU-CC, 4 p.m.

S.F. Austin at UCSB, 4 p.m.

SWAC

WEST DIVISION

CONF. ALL

Southern...........10-2 16-13

Grambling St. ....7-5 12-16

Texas Southern .6-6 10-19

Prairie View .......5-7 10-21

UAPB............2-10 6-22

EAST DIVISION

CONF. ALL

Alabama State ...8-3 14-13

Alabama A&M ...8-4 12-20

Jackson State ....6-6 14-18

Miss. Valley St. .5-7 6-14

Alcorn State .......2-9 8-19

TODAY’S GAMES

All times Central

Prairie View A&M at UAPB, 3 p.m.

Alabama St. at Miss. Valley St., 3 p.m.

Grambling St. at Texas Southern, 5 p.m.

Alabama A&M at Alcorn State, 6 p.m.

Southern at Memphis, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Rust College at Jackson St. (DH), 1 p.m.

Prairie View A&M at UAPB, 2 p.m.

Grambling St. at Texas Southern, 2 p.m.

Alabama A&M at Alcorn State, 2 p.m.

Southern at Memphis, 2 p.m.

Alabama St. at Miss. Valley St., 3 p.m.

ASU baseball coach Tommy Raffo
UALR baseball coach Chris Curry

Sports on 04/05/2019

Print Headline: Big road wins come for three

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