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Baseball takes opening SBC series, beat ASU

Submitted by Tony Lenahan on March 24, 2011 – 6:26 am3 Comments

Jason Houston went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI in the Trojans 7-6 victory over the Red Wolves of ASU on Sunday at Gary Hogan Field. The Trojans took the 3-game series 2-1. Photo by Matt Johnson

The Trojans scored five runs in the last two innings to defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 7-6 Sunday, March 20, at Gary Hogan Field. The victory gave UALR a 2-1 series win to open up Sun Belt Conference play.

Trojan senior third-baseman Casey McCollum singled to left field, scoring pinch-runner Hector Acosta in the ninth inning for the winning run. McCollum went 2-5 for the game.

With two outs in bottom of the first, Trojan senior first-baseman Jake Rowell earned a walk and right-fielder Nick Rountree followed with a 2-run homerun to left field to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Rowell went 1-3 and scored two runs.

The Red Wolves (10-11, 1-2 SBC) countered with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. After a Todd Baumgartner single, Jordan Castaldo hit a two-run homer to center field, tying the game at 2-2.

Senior right-hander Calvin Drinnen (2-1, 3.12 ERA) started for the Trojans (10-9, 2-1) and pitched six and a third innings, giving up five runs (four earned), six hits, three walks, and striking out two. Drinnen got the no-decision while senior John Maler (1-2, 3.00) pitched two and a third of scoreless relief and picked up his first win of the year.

ASU scored four runs over the next three innings to go up 6-2 in the top of the seventh. Two walks and two hits netted the Trojans two runs in the bottom of the eighth before the comeback in the ninth inning.

Brad Allen (2-1, 3.48) pitched seven and two-thirds innings for ASU, giving up four runs and seven hits and getting the no-decision. Wes Dagestad (0-1, 11.57) picked up the loss.

The Trojans out-hit the Red Wolves 10-7, led by catcher Niko Navarro’s 3-4 day and second-baseman Jason Houston’s  2-4 and two runs scored. Houston leads the Trojans with a .360 average with players that have at least 40 at-bats. Left-fielder Sean Bignall and Rountree each have two homeruns and Rowell has 12 RBIs to lead UALR.