Baseball on wrong end of marathon
The baseball team lost 15-14 to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles on Tuesday, April 5, in non-conference action at Gary Hogan Field. The game lasted almost four and a half hours and the teams combined for 14 runs in the sixth inning, which lasted an hour.
“Obviously our pitchers didn’t get the job done to hold off Oral Roberts,” hitting coach Jeremy Haworth said. “They’re a pretty good hitting team. They’ve played Arizona State, San Diego State, Baylor; they’ve played some really good teams. We knew going in that they weren’t going to be a walk in the park.”
The Trojans (13-15, 4-5 SBC) scored three runs in each of the first and second innings, highlighted by first baseman Jake Rowell’s 3-run homerun in the bottom of the first. Rowell finished with a game-high five RBIs, going 3-6 and scoring two runs.
The bottom of the second inning started with Trojan senior third baseman Casey McCollum being hit by a pitch, followed by walks to left-fielder Sean Bignall and centerfielder Cameron Bentley to load the bases. After a strike out by leadoff man Greg Garcia, sophomore right-fielder Myles Parma (3-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit a 2-run single to right field. Junior catcher Nick Rountree (3-5, 2 runs, RBI) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to close the scoring in the inning.
Down 6-5 in the top of the sixth inning, ORU (11-11) scored seven runs to take a 12-6 lead. The Trojans began the bottom of the sixth with two singles from Garcia and Parma, a strikeout from senior Jason Houston, and then four consecutive hits to score five runs, including a 2-run double from junior designated hitter Justin Barnes. UALR added two unearned runs to finish the inning with seven runs and a 13-12 lead.
The Golden Eagles scored two more runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth to take a 15-14 lead. Senior Daniel Golden pitched a scoreless ninth inning with the heart of the Trojans’ lineup coming up in the bottom of the inning. Houston started the inning by grounding out to third base and Rountree hit a screaming single up the middle to bring up Rowell. Rowell hit it hard up the middle, but ORU second baseman Spencer Barnett made a diving grab, pitching it to the shortstop from his glove to start a 4-6-3 double play, ending the game.
“I thought Daniel did a good job coming in the ninth to put up a zero to give us a chance to win” Haworth said. “I felt if that ball that Rowell hit gets through the middle … that second baseman made one heck of a play. And Barnes, with power versus power, I thought he was going to get the job done.”
The Trojans didn’t get to Barnes and were plagued by 14 walks from UALR pitchers. Six of the 14 walks scored. “There is no excuse for that,” Haworth said about the walks.
ORU left-fielder Chris Elder hit a 2-run homerun in the top of the fifth inning and went 2-4, scoring three runs and knocking in three. It was the third game in a row that the Trojans had three players with three hits. Barnes went 2-5 with two RBIs.
UALR will host the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in Sun Belt Conference action this weekend at Gary Hogan Field.