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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's winning ways continued Tuesday night.

Senior first baseman Riley Pittman belted four doubles, and junior third baseman Garrett Scott and senior left fielder Troy Alexander both homered as the Trojans defeated the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 12-3 at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock.

The Trojans (14-19) have won seven of their past eight games, with No. 25 Coastal Carolina visiting Little Rock on Friday through Sunday for a three-game Sun Belt Conference series.

"We're finally gaining some confidence," UALR Coach Chris Curry said. "The lineup is settling in. People are getting comfortable with their roles. Our offensive approach is really solid and is giving us some breathing room."

Pittman went 4 of 5 and scored 4 runs for the Trojans, who defeated their third in-state team this season with victories against the University of Central Arkansas on March 12 and the University of Arkansas on April 2.

"I've been feeling a lot better," Pittman said. "I got out to a slow start at the start of the year, but I'm starting to catch my stride at the right time. I'm not looking to do too much. Just seeing the ball off the bat."

Senior Nick Perez, who started on the mound for UALR and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 3⅔ innings, was 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, including a two-run double.

UAPB Coach Carlos James credited UALR's approach at the plate.

"They swung the bats well," James said. "That's a good team that's beginning to grow up."

The Golden Lions (6-25) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when junior first baseman Nick Kreutzer scored on a passed ball by Trojans junior catcher Ramon Padilla.

The lead was short-lived.

The Trojans took a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second. Pittman doubled and Alexander reached on a one-out walk before Perez followed with a single to center field that scored both.

Scott hit his third home run of the season in the bottom of the third to make it 3-1. Pittman doubled for the second time, Padilla reached on a throwing error by UAPB senior shortstop Ryan Mallison, and Pittman scored from second for a 4-1 advantage.

Sophomore second baseman Jarficur Parker's RBI double in the top of the fourth pulled the Golden Lions within 4-2.

The Trojans extended their lead to 5-2 in the bottom half of the fourth on senior right fielder Ryan Benavidez's sacrifice fly. UALR tacked on two more in the fifth on Alexander's two-run home run to right field, his seventh of the season.

Kreutzer came home on a wild pitch by junior Dillon Delgadillo to cut the Trojans' lead to 7-3 in the top of the seventh.

But UALR came right back in the bottom of the seventh when freshman second baseman Miguel Soto's sacrifice fly scored Padilla for an 8-3 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Pittman doubled for the fourth time and scored on Padilla's groundout for a 9-3 advantage. Alexander was intentionally walked, and Perez followed with a two-run double to make it 11-3. Soto hit a fly ball to left field that UAPB junior left fielder Andrew Szalkowski dropped for an error, allowing Perez to score to extend the Trojans' lead to 12-3.

Junior Ty Gordon (3-0) pitched three innings of relief for the Trojans, giving up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 2. He walked one.

Redshirt freshman Race Tittle (1-1) gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits, struck out 3 and walked 2 in 5 innings for the Golden Lions.

Kreutzer and junior center fielder Bryce Roesch each had two hits for UAPB.

Sports on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: Trojans stay hot, top Lions

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