CENTRAL ARKANSAS 9, NORTH ALABAMA 1
The University of Central Arkansas opened conference play with a victory over North Alabama on Friday night at Bear Field in Conway.
Jesse Barker (3-1), UCA's usual Saturday night starter, pitched 61/3 innings, allowing no runs. Barker allowed 5 hits and 3 walks and struck out 5. Coleman McCrae pitched the final 22/3 innings, striking out 3 batters while allowing 1 baserunner.
Reid Bowman and Kolby Johnson led the Bears (9-8, 1-0) with three hits apiece. Johnson had three RBI thanks to a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
UCA outhit North Alabama (5-11, 0-1) 11-6. Gehrig Frei and Ethan Walker each had two hits.
North Alabama starter Justus Agosto (1-3) pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks.
NW (LA.) STATE 9, UALR 4
Northwestern (La.) State got to University of Arkansas-Little Rock starter Hoss Brewer early, tagging the Trojans' ace for four quick runs and holding off the visitors Friday night at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, La.
UALR (9-6) trailed 5-0 through five innings before Skyler Trevino's two-run homer got the Trojans on the board. They added another in the seventh on a Noah Brewer groundout, but in both innings, the Demons answered with two runs, stretching their lead to 7-3.
UALR added a final run on Aidan Garrett's solo home run to lead off the top of the ninth.
Jeffery Elkins led the Demons (11-6), going 4 for 5 from the leadoff spot with 2 runs, 3 RBI and a walk.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 15, ARKANSAS STATE 4
A seven-run first inning and six more runs in the eighth did more than enough damage for Louisiana-Lafayette, powering the host Ragin' Cajuns to a series-opening win at Russo Park in Lafayette, La., on Friday night.
All seven runs for Louisiana-Lafayette (12-6, 1-0 Sun Belt Conference) came with two outs in the first inning, with Heath Hood, Mason Zambo and John Taylor all logging RBI doubles against Red Wolf starter Tyler Jeans.
ASU (7-9, 0-1) singled with two outs in the first, but the Ragin' Cajuns retired the next 10 before the visitors finally broke through for an unearned run in the fifth.
The Red Wolves scored on a wild pitch, fielder's choice and groundout in the final two innings, yet never came close to threatening Louisiana-Lafayette, which punctuated the night with Conor Higgs' grand slam to cap its six-run eighth.
TEXAS SOUTHERN 9, UAPB 7 (10)
C.J. Castillo's two-run single in the top of the 10th inning powered Texas Southern to a series-opening victory at Torii Hunter Baseball Complex on Friday in Pine Bluff.
Castillo and Jeffry Mercado had three hits apiece for the Tigers (15-6, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference), who watched the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff score a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Castillo also finished with three runs batted in.
Micah Brown went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI for UAPB (7-10, 0-1). Edwin DeLa Cruz and Aidan Martinez had two hits each.