Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department
Thursday, Feb. 28
Wichita State vs. UALR – 4 p.m.
Friday, March 1
Western Illinois vs. Wichita State – 11 a.m.
Iowa vs. UALR – 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
Western Illinois vs. Iowa – 11 a.m.
Iowa vs. UALR – 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 3
Wichita State vs. Iowa – 10 a.m.
Western Illinois vs. UALR – 1 p.m.
This week has been anything but ordinary for head coach Scott Norwood and his UALR Trojan baseball team… UALR was originally scheduled to travel to Oklahoma State on Tuesday and wrap up the week at home with a three game series against Western Illinois, but mother nature had different ideas… The threat of inclement weather canceled the Trojan’s midweek game against Oklahoma State, but also provided Norwood an opportunity to bring in a few top-tier baseball programs to Gary Hogan Field this weekend… Wichita State and Iowa will join Western Illinois in a make-shift round robin, beginning on Thursday… Wichita State was originally scheduled to play a weekend series against Fordham University, but those games were cancelled due to snow… Iowa was initially scheduled to play four games at the Millard Management Jayhawk Classic in Kansas, but a snow storm forced the cancelation of the event.
RECAPPINIG LAST WEEK
The UALR Trojans went 3-1 in the second week of the 2013 season, sweeping three games from the SIU Edwardsville Cougars at Gary Hogan Field… On Tuesday, UALR dropped its first midweek game of the year, falling to the visiting Louisiana Tech bulldogs 6-3… Junior Austin Pfeiffer led the Trojans that day with two hits, one run scored and one RBI… In the weekend series, the UALR pitching staff dominated and simply overwhelmed the SIUE Cougars… In the 27 innings played this weekend, the Trojan pitching staff allowed a grand total of two runs (only one earned) to SIUE, rebounding from Tuesday’s loss to Louisiana Tech… Senior pitcher Chance Cleveland set the tone for the weekend with his first win of the year… Cleveland struck eight batters in eight innings pitched while scattering three hits and yielding only one walk… Junior Dillon Moritz picked up his second save of the season en route to a 2-1 win in game one of a Saturday doubleheader… In game two of the twinbill, senior pitcher Blake Huffman picked up right where Cleveland left off…The senior from Tyler, Texas worked six innings of shutout baseball, striking out six and walking only one batter…. Sophomore Cameron Allen came in relief and worked a perfect seventh and eighth inning, picking up three strikeouts in the process…. The Trojans turned the ball over to Moritz again in the ninth inning as the right-hander from Aurora, Colo. picked up his second save of the day, capping a masterful performance from the entire UALR pitching staff… In Saturday’s double header, SIUE scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, but were then shut out by the Trojan pitching staff for the remaining 17 innings… In the series finale, the UALR bats came to life with 13 runs on 12 hits as the Trojans used the long ball to distance themselves from the Cougars…A grand slam by Pfeiffer, a three-run home run by junior Bryson Thionnet and a solo shot by senior John Clark paved the way for the blowout, giving Norwood his 100th career win at UALR in the process… For the week, Pfeiffer batted .428 (6-14), scored three runs, recorded five RBI’s and stole two bases…
ABOUT WICHITA STATE
The Shockers of Wichita State University only have four games under their belt thus far in 2013… Inclement weather has forced the cancellation of the Shockers last five games… Wichita State hasn’t played a game since a 5-4 win over Oral Roberts University on Feb. 19… Last season, the Shockers compiled a 35-25 record, including wins over Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Nebraska… RHP A.J. Ladwig is projected to get the start against the Trojans on Thursday… Ladwig has one appearance on the young season with a 8.31 ERA and a team-high five strikeouts.
The Hawkeyes come into Little Rock sporting a 3-3 record in 2013, including wins over Texas A&M Corpus Christi, New Mexico and Austin Peay… Iowa had an overall record of 23-27 last season as the Hawkeyes finished ninth in BIG 10 conference play. The Hawkeyes will send out sophomore LHP Sasha Kuebel on Friday afternoon, while freshman RHP Calvin Mathews is projected to get the start on Saturday.
ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS
While the Leathernecks out of Western Illinois only boast a 2-4 record so far in 2013, they haven’t been shy about playing the best the state of Arkansas has to offer…. Including a game against UALR this weekend, the Leathernecks will have played the Arkansas Razorbacks as well as the Arkansas State Red Wolves… Western Illinois opened its 2013 campaign with a three game series in Fayetteville and stunned the heavily favored Razorbacks with a 7-5 win in the final game of the series… The Leathernecks followed that performance by topping the Red Wolves in Jonesboro with a 2-1 win last Friday night… Western Illinois is projected to send out sophomore RHP Mason Pingel to the mound on Sunday to take on the Trojans.
PITCHING STAFF PAVING THE WAY
While pitching has been a problem for the Trojans in previous years, it appears this year’s staff has turned over a new leaf… Through seven games, the Trojans hold the second-best ERA in the Sun Belt conference (2.57), including a starting weekend rotation that has combined for three wins, 36 strikeouts, and an impressive 2.24 ERA… The bullpen has been equally reliable for UALR as the Trojans are 4-0 when leading after seven innings, a testament to the sound job the relief pitchers have done… On the year, opponents are hitting just .242 off the Trojan’s arms…
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES OF GARY HOGAN FIELD
Changes to UALR’s schedule have forced the Trojans to play all of their games for far in 2013 from Gary Hogan Field… In fact, UALR will not play a road game until March 8 when the Trojans travel to Clarksville, Tenn. for three games in the Austin Peay Tournament… 17 of UALR’s first 20 games will be played at home, including the conference series opener against in-state rival Arkansas State.
REACHING A MILESTONE
With last Sunday’s win over the SIU Edwardsville Cougars, Norwood garnered his 100th career win as head baseball coach at UALR… Norwood’s 2010-2011 campaign was his most successful as he led UALR to its first ever Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship and a berth in a NCAA Regional… Norwood is also closing in on 400 career wins as a head coach, tallying 389 wins so far to his name.