CENTRAL ARKANSAS 13,
EASTERN KENTUCKY 9
The University of Central Arkansas (15-17, 9-4 ASUN) got a school record-tying three home runs from senior left fielder Connor Emmet as the Bears claimed sole possession of first place in the ASUN's West Division with a victory over Eastern Kentucky (21-12, 8-5) at Combs Stadium in Richmond, Ky.
Emmet finished 4 for 5 with 5 runs scored and 6 RBI, while Hunter Hicks went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.
Emmet's first home run put UCA on the board in the first inning when he hit the first pitch he saw to right-center field. Hunter Hicks added a home run later in the inning to make it 2-0. After a Jalen Jones' home run in the third inning cut the lead in half, the Bears took a 9-1 lead after scoring five runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth on Emmet's second home run, this one going to right field.
The Colonels responded with a grand slam from designated hitter Sebastian Greico in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 9-5. The lead was cut to 9-7 in the seventh on a home run from Max Williams and an RBI single from Charles Ludwick that scored Kendal Ewell.
Emmet's third home run came in the top of the eighth inning on the first pitch he saw, pushing the lead to 10-7. Ewell hit an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the inning and Logan Thomason added an RBI double to make it 10-9. Emmet added a two-run single in the top of the ninth and he scored on Hicks' RBI double to center field.
Emmet and Hicks were the only players with multiple hits for the Bears, who finished with nine. Ewell went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI to lead the Colonels, while Jones was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Thomason and Conner Davis both went 2 for 5.
UCA starter Tyler Cleveland (3-2) picked up the win despite giving up 7 earned runs on 9 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Cleveland also had five strikeouts. Trent Gregson earned his second save of the season after pitching the final 1 1/3 innings, in which he allowed 1 hit with 1 strikeout.