Bears Blast No. 18 Oklahoma State

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

The Central Arkansas baseball team responded to their first three game losing streak of the season in impressive fashion on Tuesday night, defeating the 18th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys 11-3. The Bears collected 19 hits, their most since May 15 of 2010. The offensive leaders were Forrestt Allday and Scott Zimmerle with four hits, and Blake Marchal with a career-high five runs batted in.

Central Arkansas (19-6) jumped out to an early lead over the Cowboys. Right fielder Forrestt Allday led off the game with a single to center field before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Blake Marchal. Allday then advanced to third on a fly out off the bat of center fielder Jonathan Davis. Catcher Michael Marietta roped a single to right-center field to drive in Allday and give the Bears the 1-0 lead.

Oklahoma State (19-5) responded immediately though, plating two runs on three hits in their half of the first. The Cowboys loaded the bases on singles from the top third of their order, and first baseman Tanner Krietemeier drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 1-1. Catcher Victor Romero grounded into a double play, allowing Oklahoma State to plate another run and take the 2-1 lead. A fly ball to center field ended the inning.

Central Arkansas retook the lead in the top of the second inning, plating three runs on three hits and an Oklahoma State error. The Bears again got a leadoff single, this time off the bat of first baseman Scott Zimmerle. Shortstop Justin Treece lofted a fly ball to center field but Cowboy center fielder Aaron Cornell was unable to make the catch, giving the Bears runners on first and second. Following a strikeout, Allday singled to center again, ending the day for Oklahoma State starter Kenton Bevacqua and loading the bases for Marchal. The Central Arkansas second baseman wasted little time in unloading the bases, lacing a single just inches inside of the third base bag and down the left field line to give Central Arkansas a 4-2 lead.

Oklahoma State pulled within a run in the bottom of the third, stringing together a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Bears.

After a scoreless fourth inning from both teams, Central Arkansas was able to plate a pair in the top of the fifth. Yet another leadoff single got the Bears’ offense going. Left fielder Ethan Harris was the guilty party, roping a single through the right side before stealing second base. Third baseman Garrett Brown followed with a single back up the middle to drive in Harris from second and extend the UCA lead to 5-3. After a fly out and a strikeout, designated player Tyler Langley singled up the middle and Allday singled to the shortstop to load the bases. Marchal came through for the Bears again, this time wearing a 1-0 offering from Cowboy reliever Kyle Gehrs to bring home Brown and give the Bears a 6-3 lead.

Central Arkansas added another insurance run in the sixth inning. With one out, Harris singled through the right side. After a strikeout, Harris moved to second on a balk, a call which drew the ire of Oklahoma State skipper Josh Holliday. Once Holliday had made his opinion known, Zimmerle looped a single to left-center field to score Harris from second, giving the Bears a 7-3 lead.

Central Arkansas struck again in the top of the seventh, plating two on three hits. Allday singled to start the inning off, coming around to score on a triple off the bat of Marchal, who came in on a single from Davis. The runs pushed the Central Arkansas lead to 9-3.

Two more UCA players crossed the plate in the eighth inning, making the score 11-3 Central Arkansas. A ground-rule double, a pair of walks, a passed ball, and a single combined to score the runs.

Both starters struggled on the night, but the bullpens were able to slow the offenses, at least on one side. For Central Arkansas, lefty Zach Barr worked one inning, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Bevacqua (1-2) worked 1.1 innings for Oklahoma State, giving up four runs on five hits and striking out one Bear. Central Arkansas turned to Clint Green (2-1) in the second inning, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, turning in seven innings of one hit, one run relief. He issued two free passes and struck out four. Green retired 21 of the 24 batters to face him. Griffin Glaude worked the final frame for the Bears, striking out one

Oklahoma State was unable to find a performance like the Bears got from Green, using ­­seven pitchers on the day. Jon Perrin came in for Bevacqau, throwing 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five Central Arkansas batters. Gehrs threw just a third of an inning, giving up one hit and hitting a batter. Reid Barnett worked the sixth inning for the Cowboys, giving up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out the side. Phillip Wilson came on for the seventh, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out four. Kyle Bagnell worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit. Starting shortstop was the final pitcher that Holliday turned to, throwing a scoreless ninth inning while walking one and striking out two.

Central Arkansas returns to Southland Conference play this weekend, playing host to Lamar. Game times are set for 6:00 PM on both Thursday and Friday nights, with the series finale scheduled for 1:00 pm on Saturday.


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