The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team begins the 2021 season splitting a doubleheader against Northwestern Oklahoma State Friday. The Weevils used the long ball with four home runs to win game one 12-5 while dropping game two late 4-3 to the Rangers.
GAME 1: UAM 12 – NWOSU 5
UAM (1-1, 1-1) fell behind early as the Rangers (2-3, 1-1) scored two runs in each of the first two innings.
The Weevils responded in the bottom of the second inning when Aaron Gaela doubled into left-center field to bring home Joe Jaco for the first run of the day.
In the bottom of the third, UAM plated two more runs to cut the deficit to 4-3. With the bases loaded, Dylan Borman was hit by a pitch to bring home the first run of the frame and Jaco followed with a fielder’s choice to score another.
The long ball made it’s first appearance in the fourth as Cole Muckleroy went deep to left center to tie the score 4-4.
The Weevils added two more runs in the fifth on solo home runs from Jordan Johnson and Borman.
After a rocky start in his first two innings, UAM starter Livan Cordova (W, 1-0) settled in on the mound allowing no hits over his final three innings while striking out four. The Hermosillo, Mexico native finished with finished with five strikeouts over five innings pitched while allowing four runs on five hits.
More thunder from the UAM bats in the sixth as Muckleroy hits a two-run blast for his second homer run of the day and Johnson picks up another RBI on a double to center to put the Weevils up 9-4.
Lefty Jared Roberts dealt two scoreless innings in relief of Cordova before handing it over to Matt Lundh in the eighth.
Andrew Piraino capped the scoring for UAM on a three-run bomb to right field. His blast was the fourth home run of the contest for the Weevils.
NWOSU plated one in the top of the ninth, but Lundh closed the door in his second inning of work to secure the 12-5 victory.
Ethan Swanson (L, 0-1) took the loss for the Rangers allowing six runs on six hits in five innings pitched.
GAME TWO: NWOSU 4 – UAM 3 (7 innings)
UAM flipped the script early in game two taking the lead in the second inning on the fifth home run of the day for the Weevils. Grant Shepherd launched a two-run home run over the right field wall to open the scoring.
Redshirt Sophomore Cade Thompson tacked on another run for the Weevils in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single to put UAM up 3-0.
After working through a bases loaded jam in the first inning, River Hunt held the Rangers scoreless through his first four innings of work. The Sherwood, Ark. native gave up back-to-back extra base hits in the fifth to put NWOSU on the board. Hunt finished his day allowing only the one run on four hits while striking out five in five innings of work.
Ojani Chacon took over on the mound in the sixth surrendering one run on three hits before Colby Adkins took over to record the final out of the inning.
With two on and two out in the seventh, Adkins faltered with a pair of wild pitches to bring home the tying run for the Rangers. NWOSU followed with an RBI-double to left to take the lead 4-3.
The Weevils had three outs to work with in the bottom of the inning to tie or take the lead, but went down in order falling 4-3 in game two.
Adkins (L, 0-1) finished with the loss surrounding two runs on three hits over 1.1 innings pitched.
Kaleb Honea earned the victory pitching a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.
UP NEXT: Game three of the series against Northwestern Oklahoma State is scheduled for noon Saturday.