A three-run seventh inning by McNeese State led to the end of the University of Central Arkansas' chances of winning the Southland Conference championship.
The second-seeded Bears lost 4-2 to the No. 5 Cowboys on Saturday night in the Southland championship game at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas.
The Bears finished the season 32-27.
The game was tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
Dustin Duhon doubled to lead off the seventh for McNeese State off Central Arkanas starter Tanner Wiley. Wiley was pulled by Bears Coach Allen Gum for Conner Williams, who gave up a base hit to Reid Bourque that moved Duhon to third. Duhon scored on a fielder's choice by Payton Harden to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.
Two batters later, Clayton Rasbeary hit a two-run single to center field off Bears reliever Gavin Stone to make it 4-1 Cowboys.
UCA pulled within 4-2 in the top of the eighth inning on Wiley's RBI single, but Cole Fiori struck out to end the Bears' threat.
The Bears were retired in order in the top of the ninth inning as the Cowboys clinched the Southland title and the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Wiley (1-2) allowed 2 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter. At the plate, Wiley went 2 for 4 with an RBI to lead the Bears offensively.
Rasbeary went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI to lead the Cowboys. Also for McNeese State, Nate Fisbeck, Jake Dickerson and Carson Maxwell had two hits.
Aidan Anderson (7-6) earned the victory in relief for McNeese State after allowing one hit in 32/3 innings. Will Dion recorded his sixth save.
UCA, which was the highest seed remaining in the tournament, reached Saturday's title game by defeating Southeastern Louisiana 6-3 in 10 innings earlier in the day. Tyler Smith hit an RBI single, and Fiori had a two-run single in the 10th for the Bears.
Sports on 05/26/2019
Print Headline: UCA's run ends in title-game loss