NORTHWESTERN (LA.) STATE 8-1, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 4-3
The University of Central Arkansas Bears got stellar pitching from Conner Williams and Tyler Cleveland in the second game of Friday's doubleheader to beat Northwestern (La.) State 3-1 and earn a split on the opening day of their Southland Conference series at Bear Stadium.
Northwestern State won the opener 8-4.
Williams pitched two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts to earn the victory before turning it over to Cleveland. Cleveland, the reigning conference pitcher of the week, allowed 1 hit and struck out 8 over the final 4 innings to earn his seventh save.
The Bears made the most of four hits and took advantage of four errors. The Bears broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run fifth inning, topped off by a straight steal of home. Connor Flagg reached on an error and advanced to third on another error with two outs. Coby Potvin drew a walk and Flagg scored on A.J. Mendolia's single to right.
Taylor Daniell drew another walk, and with Demons starter Cal Carver electing to pitch from a full windup, Potvin broke for home and slid in with the third run as the pitch got away from the catcher, allowing both runners to advance as well.
From there, Cleveland did the rest, striking out at least one batter in every inning, including fanning the side in the eighth inning.
Potvin finished 2 for 3 and Mendolia had a pair of runs batted in for the Bears.
In the first game, the Demons came back from a 3-2 deficit with a five-run fourth inning and reliever Drayton Brown kept the Bears from scoring over the fnal three innings. Johnathan Harmon allowed 8 hits and 4 earned runs but got the victory to improve to 4-2 for Northwestern State. Brown earned his third save of the year.
The Bears got a single run in the second inning off Drew Sturgeon's RBI groundout. They added three more in the third, with Daniell getting an RBI single to left field. Kolby Johnson followed with a two-run double to left center to give UCA a 4-2 lead.
In the fourth, the Demons scored five runs on four hits first baseman Peyton Davis' second home run of the game, a three-run shot to left field. David finished 3 for 5 with 5 RBI. Coby Pitvoin led the Bears at the plate, going 3 for 4, while Johnson was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
ARKANSAS STATE 12, AUSTIN PEAY 7
Arkansas State University earned a 12-7 victory over Austin Peay to open a three-game series at Raymond C. Hand Park in Clarksville, Tenn.
The Red Wolves (12-22) notched three doubles and two home runs in their victory over the Governors (15-25), with both long balls coming back-to-back in the eighth.
Brandon Hudson notched his third win of the year in a solid outing, tossing 5 innings in which he allowed 2 runs – 1 earned – on 4 hits while striking out 4. After Josh Albat came in and allowed four runs, Jack Jumper pitched a pair of scoreless innings before giving way to Kollin Stone, who closed it out the final two innings.
ASU out-hit the Governors 14-10, with five different Red Wolves tallying multiple hits, led by three apiece from Liam Hicks and Blake McCutchen. Ben Klutts, Tyler Duncan and Jared Toler each recorded a pair of hits, with Toler leading the way with a career-high four RBI. Drew Tipton scored three runs for the Red Wolves.