Bears Take Baseball Series with 7-4 Win Over Northwestern State

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

After a 1-0 game on Friday night and a 2-1, eleven inning game on Saturday, the Central Arkansas Bears and Northwestern State Demons saw their bats come to life on Sunday, combing for 11 runs on the day. When all was said and done, Central Arkansas took the game 7-4, giving them a 2-1 series win.

The Demons (10-23, 1-8 SLC) got on the board first on Sunday, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Catcher Matt Farmer led off the inning with a groundball to short, advancing to second on a throwing error. Farmer advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Following a strikeout, Farmer came in to score on a single in the hole off the bat of designated hitter Regan Kaufman.

Central Arkansas (23-8, 4-5 SLC) wasted little time in responding, plating three runs of their own in the top of the third. A ground out started the inning and designated hitter Chris Townsend followed with a single down the right field line. Forrestt Allday laid down a bunt, placing it perfectly between the pitcher and the first baseman to give the Bears runners on first and second with one out. Second baseman Blake Marchal was hit by a 2-1 offering from Demon starter Andrew Adams to load the bases for center fielder Jonathan Davis, who drew a walk to score Townsend and even the score at 1-1. Third baseman Garrett Brown grounded out to short, driving in Marchal to give Central Arkansas the 2-1 lead. Left fielder Ethan Harris drew a four pitch walk, and Marchal was able to score when the fourth ball got away from Farmer.

The bottom of the frame saw the Demon get a run back to pull within 3-2. With two outs in the inning, center fielder Will Watson laced a double down the left field line. Left fielder Cort Brinson followed by hitting a single just inside the right field line to plate Watson.

In the top of the fourth, Central Arkansas got the run back using a two-out rally of its own. A pair of groundouts started the inning before catcher Michael Marietta singled to third. Townsend followed with his second hit of the day, shooting a line drive off the glove of the diving first baseman for a single. A walk by Allday loaded the bases for Marchal, who to right to score Marietta. Townsend was out at home trying to score, ending the inning with the Bears leading 4-2.

Northwestern State waited until the bottom of the fifth to get back on the board. Right fielder Jake Cloutre started the inning off with an infield single, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by shortstop Edwin Gomez. A walk to second baseman Toby Cornejo moved Gomez over second and a ground out moved the runners to second and third. A wild pitch by Central Arkansas starter Bryce Biggerstaff allowed Gomez to score, pulling the Demons within 4-3.

The Northwestern State pitching staff helped Central Arkansas extend its lead in the top of the seventh inning. Allday led the inning off with a walk, prompting a pitching change. Steven Spann, who took the loss yesterday, came on and plunked Marchal. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Spann hit Brown to load the bases with one out. Harris drew a walk to force home Allday and push the Central Arkansas lead to 5-3. Shortstop Justin Treece roped a single up the middle to score Marchal and extend the lead to 6-3 in favor of the Bears.

Central Arkansas added some insurance in the top of the eighth, pushing its lead to 7-3. Allday singled to second with one, moving to all the way to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Marchal was hit for the second time to put runners on the corners and Davis legged out an infield single to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Harris drew his second bases-loaded walk of the day to push the lead to 7-3 before a lineout ended the inning.

Biggerstaff (3-1) earned the win for the Bears, throwing 5.2 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three Northwestern State batters. Ethan McKinzie picked up his fourth save of the season, working three innings in relief for Central Arkansas. McKinzie gave up an unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out one. Clint Green earned his first save of the season, recording the final out of the ninth inning on a strikeout.

Andrew Adams (0-5) got the start for Northwestern State, lasting just three innings. He allowed three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out two Bears. Joey Parrack came on in the fourth innings, working two innings of one run, four hit relief. He issued one free pass and struck out two. Logan Shaftner threw one inning in relief, giving up one run on two hits and a walk. Spann threw only one-third of an inning on the day, giving up a run on a walk and two hit batters. Cameron Brewer worked 1.2 innings in relief, allowing an unearned run on three hits, two strikeouts, and a walk. AJ Funk threw a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit.

Central Arkansas will play a pair of midweek games this week, hosting Grambling State at 6:00 pm on Tuesday and traveling to Jonesboro, Arkansas on Wednesday to play Arkansas State at 6:30 pm. The Bears will then play host to Southland Conference foe Nicholls State for a three-game set over the weekend. Game times are set for 6:00 pm on Friday, 4:00 pm on Saturday, and 1:00 pm on Sunday.

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