The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball avoided a series sweep by splitting a doubleheader against Southeastern Oklahoma State Saturday. Both teams were hot at the plate in game one as the Weevils fell 8-6, but the bats cooled off in game two with UAM earning the win 2-1 at Weevils Field.
UAM moves to 5-9 overall and 5-7 in Great American Conference play. Southeastern is now 10-6 on the season and 7-5 in league contests.
Game One: SOSU 8, UAM 6
The offense was clicking early in game one for both teams. Southeastern jumped on UAM starter Mason Philley in the opening frame scoring two runs on three hits before Philley left a pair stranded on base.
The Weevils quickly responded in the bottom of the inning as Andrew Piraino drove a two-out RBI-single back up the middle to bring home Cade Thompson.
Philley kept Southeastern quiet in the second inning striking out the side while working around a two-out single.
UAM kept the offense rolling in the bottom of the second plating four runs on five hits. With the bases loaded, Thompson drove in the tying run with an RBI-single. Two batters later Jordan Johnson launched a sacrifice fly into center field to plate another run. Piraino picked up the big hit of the inning smacking a two-run double to left field putting the Weevils up 5-2.
The third inning was unkind to Philley on the mound as the Savage Storm responded at the plate scoring five runs on four hits in the frame. The Weevils turned to Connor Wilkerson in relief to get out of the inning.
The offensive onslaught slowed down between the fourth and eighth innings. That stretch included a difficult seventh frame for Trent Bunting, who relieved Wilkerson at the start of the inning on the mound, as he managed left three runners stranded to keep the score at 7-5.
Ojani Chacon took over on the bump for the Weevils in the top of the ninth and surrendered an unearned run.
Thompson tried to spark a comeback for UAM in the bottom of the ninth launching a leadoff blast over the fence in right center. Aaron Gaela brought the tying run to the plate for the Weevils after getting hit by a pitch, but the next three hitters were retired as UAM ultimately fell 8-6.
Philley (L, 0-2) took the loss in the contest giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits and striking out seven in 2.2 innings pitched.
Wilkerson and Bunting combined for 5.1 scoreless innings in relief before one unearned run scored against Chacon in his only inning of work.
Tyler Dean (W, 2-1) picked up the win pitching eight innings while giving five runs on 11 hits.
Kenneth Klier (S, 1) earned the save allowing one run on one hit in one inning on the mound.
Game Two: UAM 2, SOSU 1
The script was vastly different in game two as pitching cooled off the bats in a low scoring series finale.
River Hunt cruised on the mound allowing just one hit over the first three innings.
UAM got on the board in the home half of the first as Thompson worked a leadoff walk and stole second base before advancing to third on a groundout and eventually scoring on a groundout to short by Jordan Johnson.
Southeastern was finally able to get to Hunt on the mound in the fourth inning bringing home on run on three hits in the frame. However Hunt picked up a fly out and a strikeout to leave two runners stranded and keep the score tied 1-1.
Piraino drove in his tallied his fourth RBI of the day in the bottom of the fifth to put the Weevils back on top singling to center to bring home Trevor Rugg.
Hunt kept Southeastern off the scoreboard in the sixth before running into a bit of trouble in the seventh loading the bases with two outs prompting a pitching change for UAM. Livan Cordova took over on the mound to record the final out of the contest on a fielder’s choice to second base securing the 2-1 win for the Weevils.
Hunt (W, 3-0) earned the win dealing 6.2 innings allowing just one run on five hits while striking out six.
Cordova (S, 1) picked up the save leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
Mason Whitmarsh (L, 3-2) ended with the loss surrendering two runs on six hits in six innings on the mound.
The Weevils host the University of Texas at Tyler at Weevils Field Tuesday, March 23. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.