The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team advanced into the winner’s bracket of the Great American Conference Championship Tournament Final Four by defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State 8-1 on Thursday at Clyde Berry Field.
UAM, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, moves on to face No. 8 seed Arkansas Tech on Friday at 4 p.m. The winner moves on the championship game. The loser plays again on Friday at 7 p.m. in an elimination game. Arkansas Tech beat No. 4 seed Henderson State 3-2 earlier on Thursday.
The Weevils (34-13) pounded out 15 hits in the win over Southeastern (29-24), the team’s third straight game with at least 10 hits and 23rd of the season. UAM scored all eight of its runs in the first four innings, highlighted by a four-run second inning.
UAM catcher Travis Steinke got it started with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. In the second, UAM had a string of five straight batters to reach base, including two walks and a hit batter. Right fielder Corey Wood delivered the big blow of the inning with a two-run double to right field, pushing his school-record RBI total up to 71 for the season.
In the third inning, third baseman Nick Cerda blasted a solo home run to left, followed later in the inning by an RBI fielder’s choice from left fielder Kevin Fitzpatrick.
UAM’s final run came on an RBI single from center fielder Brian Ray in the fourth. UAM left two runners on base in each of the final four innings.
Zach McKnight (8-2) earned the win after allowing one unearned run off three hits with five strikeouts and six walks in the first six innings. Senior Kregg Snook, senior Gavin Johnston and sophomore Landon McFadden all provided scoreless relief appearances in the final three innings, respectively.
Shortstop Evan Comeau and Steinke led the Weevils with three hits each. Ray and Cerda each finished with two hits.
Southeastern’s lone run came in the sixth inning, taking advantage of three walks, an error and a wild pitch.