The University of Arkansas at Little Rock needed some relief to earn its fourth consecutive victory Tuesday night.
UALR held on to defeat the University of Central Arkansas 4-2 at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock.
It was the Trojans' 10th victory in 11 games. They were coming off a doubleheader sweep of then-No. 25 Coastal Carolina on Friday.
UALR (17-19) defeated UCA (17-20) for the second time this season. The Trojans won the first meeting 5-1 on March 12 in Conway. The two teams will meet for a third time May 14 at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
Trailing 4-2, UCA had an opportunity to get closer in the top of the ninth inning against UALR reliever Donavin Buck. Left fielder Alonso Bibiano was hit by a pitch with one out. Hicks flew out to right field for the second out. Second baseman Jay Anderson then struck out to end the game, as Buck earned his fourth save of the season.
Zach Ours (4-0) won in relief, allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 1 inning. Four Trojans relievers -- Ours, Buck, Dillon Delgadillo and Jose Torres -- combined to allow 1 run on 4 hits in 4 1/3 innings in relief of starting pitcher Aaron Funk.
"[Ours] pitched well," UALR Coach Chris Curry said. "I liked the way Delgadillo threw. He had command of the slider. Torres worked a scoreless eighth, so that was good to see. I thought Buck was very dominant. His velocity was up."
Designated hitter Riley Pittman, who was named the Sun Belt Conference's Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, led the Trojans, going 2 for 4 with a three-run home run. Right fielder Ryan Benavidez also had two hits for the Trojans.
Third baseman Tyler Smith went 3 for 3 with a home run and two runs scored to lead the Bears. First baseman Hunter Hicks had two hits for UCA.
Ty Callahan (0-4) took the loss after allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in 1 inning.
The Trojans took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Pittman hit a three-run home run, his seventh of the season, on a 1-1 pitch from Callahan.
UALR extended its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning. First baseman Nick Perez doubled with one out and went to third on a passed ball by Bears catcher Nathaniel Sagdahl. Center fielder Eldridge Figueroa's suicide squeeze off UCA reliever Tanner Wiley allowed Perez to score from third for the two-run lead.
"It's been something we've been working on," Curry said. "With the right personnel up, I thought it was a play we could turn to. Wiley has a really good arm. Figueroa is a good bunter. So, we put it on and he got it down beautifully. It went good."
The Bears scored first, as Smith homered to lead off the top of the fourth inning off Funk for a 1-0 advantage.
UCA pulled within 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning on designated hitter Marco Navarro's RBI single to right field.
The Bears stranded eight runners, had two baserunners caught stealing and another picked off first base to the disappointment of Coach Allen Gum.
"It's frustrating," Gum said. "It was one of these nights. We don't have that team this year. When we give up an out, it manifests itself really big for us."
UALR travels to Louisiana-Monroe for a three-game series Thursday. UCA hosts Sam Houston State from Thursday-Saturday at Bear Stadium in Conway for a three-game series.
In addition to Pittman's Sun Belt award, starting pitcher Hayden Arnold received the league's pitcher of the week award Tuesday.
ARKANSAS STATE 8, SE MISSOURI STATE 4
A grand slam by left fielder Jaylon Deshazier keyed a six-run sixth inning Tuesday that helped Arkansas State University defeat Southeast Missouri State at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro.
The game was tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Red Wolves broke the tie when a wild pitch allowed Will Zimmerman — who walked to start the inning — to score. ASU got four free passes in the inning, including one that scored Sky-Lar Culver with the bases loaded for a 3-1 lead. That set the stage for Deshazier, who hit his grand slam to left field on a 2-1 pitch to give the Red Wolves a 7-1 lead.
The Redhawks tried to mount a come-back, scoring a run in the seventh inning on a throwing error and getting two more in the eighth on a fielding error and a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to 7-4. Deshazier hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth that scored Jake Karst for the Red Wolves’ final run.
Arkansas State finished with 5 hits — no player had more than one — to go with 3 errors and 4 stranded base runners. Noah Stone (1-0) earned the victory after allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts in 6 innings of work.
Sports on 04/17/2019
Print Headline: UALR pops UCA, wins fourth in row