Trojans dominate Jaguars in series opener
The Trojans took out their frustration on the South Alabama Jaguars, beating them 18-7 on Friday, April 13, at Gary Hogan Field.
Coming off a seven-game losing streak, UALR (17-17, 4-9 SBC) banged out 19 hits on the night.
Junior Chance Cleveland went the distance, scattering 10 hits and fanning nine batters. The Sun Belt Conference leader in strikeouts improved his record to 7-2. Cleveland has 68 strikeouts in 62 and a third innings this season.
Head coach Scott Norwood was happy to get the team back on their home field after a stint that saw them play 6 out of their last 7 games on the road.
“It was nice to get back home for a few days and have some time to practice and work on some things that we’ve been struggling with going into this series,” said Norwood. “It was kind of a breakout game for us. We’d lost so many close games recently, that it was nice to hit the ball like we had been at the start of the year and have some things go our way.”
Senior Sean Bignall returned to his early-season form, going 3-for-3 at the plate and scoring five runs. Junior Blake Johnson went 4-for-5 with five RBI’s and three runs scored.
Cleveland started out a bit shaky, walking a Jaguar in the first frame and then surrendering a homerun to Jordan Patterson, putting the Trojans in a quick hole.
UALR answered in the bottom half of the inning with a double to left field off the bat of Bignall. Senior Nick Rountree grounded out to shortstop, scoring sophomore Ben Crumpton from third after he had walked and advanced on Bignall’s double. Junior Blake Johnson doubled down the left-field line, playing Bignall and evening the score at 2.
The Trojans put two more on the board in their half of the third inning on a homerun to dead center by Bignall and a shot to left-center field off the bat of Johnson.
UALR extended their lead in the fifth and sixth innings, putting four runs on the board in each to make it 12-3.
The Jaguars scored four runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning before the Trojans put the game out of reach, dropping six runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore Ben Crumpton finished 3-for-5 with two RBI’s while junior David Guarno went 3-for-3 with three RBI’s.
The Trojans return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m at Gary Hogan Field.