A career day at the plate by Jordan Johnson highlights a Senior Day doubleheader sweep for the University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team over Southern Nazarene Saturday. The junior infielder swatted a career-high three home runs as the Weevils mashed six in game one to win 28-3. UAM put together another double-digit hit effort at the plate in game two to win 6-4.
UAM improves to 13-14 overall on the season and 12-11 in Great American Conference play while SNU falls to 5-24 and 5-18.
Game One: UAM 28, SNU 3
The bats were hot and rolling early for the Weevils in game one as Andrew Piraino and Johnson launched back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the first to put UAM up 3-0.
SNU was able to respond in the top half of the second scoring one run on two hits, but Mason Philley limited any more damage by leaving two runners stranded on base.
The offense did not slow down for UAM as Grant Shepherd joined the home run party with a solo blast before Johnson continued to show his power with a three run blast for his second of the contest. In total, the Weevils plated six runs in the frame and take a commanding 9-1 lead.
The third long ball of the game for Johnson came in the very next inning when he launched a three-run bomb to center field.
In the fourth inning the offense exploded for the Weevils scoring 11 runs in the frame on eight hits. Cade Thompson drove home two runs on a single and two hitters later Johnson’s career day at the plate continued on a two-run double down the left field line. The double for Johnson drove in his seventh and eighth RBIs of the game. Dylan Borman followed with a two-run double of his own before Hudson Hopkins traded places with him with an RBI-double. Shepherd started a string of two-out run scoring plays with an RBI-single through the left side. Thompson then worked a bases loaded walk to bring in a run before Piraino capped the big inning with two-run single putting the Weevils up 23-1.
Borman got in on the home run parade in the fifth leading off the frame with a solo blast to left center. Cole Muckleroy drove in his first run of the contest with a single to center later in the inning. The Weevils added another run when Audy Clary raced home to score on a wild pitch. Reed Odland brought in the final runs of the game in his second at bat off the bench by smashing a two-run double to left center.
Meanwhile, Philley’s day on the mound came to an end to begin the sixth inning as UAM turned to senior Shane Fontenot out of the bullpen. The lefty quieted the Storm offense in his start allowing just one run while striking out 10.
Fontenot worked a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth picking up two strikeouts in the frame. In the seventh, SNU took advantage of a UAM error to end up scoring two in the frame, but the Weevils ultimately won the game 28-3.
The 28 runs scored by UAM ties most for a single game by a member of the GAC. The Weevils picked up 25 RBIs in the contest which also ties the most by any team in the conference in a single game.
Johnson’s three home runs and eight RBIs marked the best in his career as a Weevil and each fell one shy of matching the GAC record in both categories.
Philley (W, 2-3) picked up the win in the blowout dealing 5.0 innings allowing just one run on four hits while adding 10 punch outs.
Fontenot worked 2.0 innings for UAM out of the bullpen striking out three and allowing one hit and two unearned runs.
The loss went to Elijah Brady (L, 1-2) who surrendered six runs in just 1.1 innings on the mound.
Game Two: UAM 6, SNU 4
The offensive script flipped early in the second game of the day as SNU jumped in front in the first two innings.
River Hunt picked up three strikeouts in the opening frame, but the Storm was able to plate one run on a wild pitch on Hunt’s second punch out of the inning.
SNU scored three more against Hunt in the second inning on a pair of home runs to make the score 4-0.
UAM got the offense back on track in the bottom of the second as Borman launched a leadoff home run to left field to get the Weevils rolling. Aaron Gaela and Hopkins followed with a single and a double before Nick Fakouri scored them both with a double down the right field line. Three hitters later Thompson brought home Fakouri with a sacrifice fly to left field to knot the score 4-4.
The Weevils took the lead in the third on an RBI-single by Gaela that scored Johnson.
Piraino tacked on one more run for UAM in the next frame driving home Shepherd on an RBI-single through the left side.
Hunt settled in on the bump leaving runners stranded on base in the third and fourth before retiring SNU in order in the fifth.
UAM turned to Jared Roberts out of the bullpen to begin the sixth inning. The senior left-handed pitcher struck out the side in the sixth and seventh to close out the win for the Weevils 6-4.
Hunt (W, 7-0) picked up the win allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits across 5.0 innings pitched in the start.
Roberts (S, 2) earned the save striking out all six batters he faced in the final two innings.
Triston Graves (L, 2-6) took the loss surrendering six runs on 10 hits in 4.0 innings of work.