Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SPORTS >> Final at-bat does job for Trojans

UALR Sports Information

The UALR Trojans scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and senior Casey McCollum hit the game-winning single as the Trojans beat rival Arkansas State 7-6 on Sunday.

For the second straight day, UALR won in the final inning to take the Sun Belt Conference series 2-1.

UALR (10-9, 2-1 SBC) went into the bottom of the ninth facing a 6-4 deficit, but rallied after junior Cameron Bentley reached on a fielding error to start things off. Bentley stole second, and the Trojans followed with back-to-back RBI doubles by seniors Jason Houston and Jake Rowell, to tie it.

Arkansas State reliever Cory Kyle took the mound and issued consecutive intentional walks to load the bases. Then McCollum roped the game-winning hit to left to drive pinch runner Hector Acosta.

UALR outhit the Red Wolves 10-7 while junior Niko Navarro was 3 for 4. Houston was 2 for 4 with two doubles, two runs and one RBI while junior Nick Rountree hit a two-run homer in the first. It was his second home run of the year.

Senior John Maler got the victory in relief by holding the Red Wolves (10-11, 1-2) hitless over 2 2/3 innings. Maler (1-2) took the mound in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, and retired the first two batters he faced to escape the jam. He closed out the game with a scoreless eighth and ninth.

Arkansas State reliever Wes Dagestad (0-1) took the loss after allowing one hit and one run in his ninth-inning appearance. Dagestad faced just one batter and gave up the tying double to Rowell.

Todd Baumgartner went 2 for 4 to lead the Red Wolves, while Jordan Castaldo hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

Arkansas State starter Brandon Allen retired the first two he faced before walking Rowell on four pitches. The walk proved costly as Rountree followed with a two-run home run to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead.