Game 3, February 7 — The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team concluded its season-opening weekend with a 13-5 loss to 12th-ranked St. Mary’s on Sunday at the Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park.
St. Mary’s (4-2) started the game by scoring runs in each of the first four innings, including four pushed across the plate in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead.
UAM (2-1) got on the board for the first time in the top of the fourth inning with one run on a STMU error. Two innings later, senior Corey Wood gave UAM another run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Weevils rallied for three runs off four hits in the top of the seventh to close the gap to three runs at 8-5. St. Mary’s added two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and another three runs in the eighth.
St. Mary’s outhit UAM 15-11. The Weevils were led by junior Nick Piraino, freshman Jake Bever and senior Mitchell Dornblut with two hits each. The first five hitters in the STMU lineup had at least two hits in the contest.
The Weevils open a five-game home stand this Tuesday against Delta State. First pitch is 2 p.m. at Weevils Field.
UAM rallies to defeat Central Missouri
Game 2, February 6 — The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team rallied to score five runs in the final two innings to beat Central Missouri 5-4 on Saturday on the second day of the Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park.
Down 2-0 to start the eighth inning, UAM pushed three runs across the plate with a two-out rally that included an RBI infield single by senior Mitchell Dornblut and a two-run single by junior Nick Piraino.
The Mules responded in the bottom of the eighth with one run to force a 3-all tie before UAM sophomore Brian Ray picked up his first hit of the 2016 season, a two-run homerun down the right field line in the top of the ninth to put the Weevils up by two.
It was Ray who also played a key factor in the win with his defense. With UCM already having one run scored in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mules leadoff man Derek Cornell singled to center field and Ray threw out Blake Wilfong at the plate to nullify the game-tying run. Wilfong had reached on an error earlier in the inning and moved to second on an RBI single by Dylan Farrell.
Less than a minute later, UAM’s senior catcher Travis Steinke combined with first baseman Dornblut and second baseman Piraino to pick off Cornell at first base to end the game.
Ray had another outfield assist in the bottom of the seventh, which prevented UCM from taking what would have been a 4-3 lead.
The first four innings of Saturday’s game hinted that one run might be enough to decide a victor with both starting pitchers cruising through the respective lineups. UAM’s Grant Black and UCM’s Tyler House gave up only one hit each through the first four innings. Black ended the game with two runs allowed off five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in 6.1 innings of work. House gave up just one hit and struck out nine in the first six innings.
Sophomore Braden Chambers (1-0) earned the win for UAM in relief, retiring the only two batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth. Sophomore Dawson Moser earned his first save of the year. UCM’s Gavin Grant (0-2) took the loss after giving up the two-run homerun to Brian Ray in the ninth inning.
UAM wraps up the Houston Winter Invitational on Sunday against St. Mary’s. First pitch is 6 p.m.
UAM defeats Tarleton State in season opener
Game 1, February 5 — The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Tarleton State 10-6 on Friday in the 2016 season opener at the Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park.
With the two squads tied at six-all at the start of the ninth, the Weevils (1-0) hit through the lineup to plate four runs, highlighted by a two-run single from senior catcher Travis Steinke. UAM also got runs off a Tarleton error and an RBI single by senior short stop Evan Comeau.
Comeau began his three-RBI game with a two-run homerun into the Crawford Boxes in the top of the fifth inning to put the Weevils up 6-4. It was Comeau’s first career homerun in a UAM uniform.
Senior third baseman C.J. Womack started the three-run fifth with an RBI double down the left field line.
The Weevils took advantage of three walks and a two-run single by freshman designated hitter Jake Bever to score three runs in the top of the first.
Tarleton State (2-2) scored two runs in each of the second, third and sixth innings, and ended up with eight total hits. Hunter Seales went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Texans. Comeau, junior Nick Piraino, senior Kevin Fitzpatrick, Bever, Steinke and Womack all had two hits for the Weevils. UAM finished with a total of 12 hits and seven walks.Senior Ben Aldridge (1-0) earned the win in relief, tossing 2.2 innings on no-hit baseball with four strikeouts and one walk. Callaway Kirkpatrick (0-1) took the loss for the Texans after giving up the go-ahead runs in the ninth.
The Weevils continue their participation in the Houston Winter Invitational on Saturday against Central Missouri. First pitch is 2 p.m.
February 4 — The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team will open its season Friday, February 5 in Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
The Weevils open the 2016 schedule at 10 a.m. against Tarleton State, followed by a 2 p.m. matchup with Central Missouri on Saturday and a 6 p.m. game against St. Mary’s on Sunday.
UAM’s first seven games, including the three games at Minute Maid Park this weekend, are against perennial national tournament contenders.
Tarleton State opened its season last weekend by taking two of three games from No. 16 Henderson State on the road in Arkadelphia. Central Missouri, owner of 24 conference titles, 16 regional championships and two national titles, has won at least 30 games each season for 22 straight years. And, St. Mary’s won two of three games against Arkansas Tech this past weekend, and is ranked as high as No. 15 in the national polls.
In 2014, the last time UAM competed in the Houston Winter Invitational, the Weevils posted a 4-0 record against national tournament contenders.
UAM’s 2016 cast features 10 returning starters from last year’s team and only two new faces to the projected opening day lineup, second baseman Nick Piraino and designated hitter Jake Bever. The rest of the projected starters include Travis Steinke at catcher, Mitchell Dornblut at first base, C.J. Womack at third base, Evan Comeau at short stop, Kevin Fitzpatrick in left field, Brian Ray in centerfield and Corey Wood in right field.
The pitching rotation will be led by senior Zach McKnight. Sixth-year head coach John Harvey expects Gavin Johnston, Grant Black, Kris Brown, Chad Bradford and Braden Chambers to compete for the other starting spots. Dawson Moser, Kregg Snook and Ben Aldridge will be UAM’s go-to guys out of the bullpen to start the season.