Early Deficit Proves To Be Too Much As Trojans Fall to Wichita State 9-5

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

LITTLE ROCK – The UALR baseball team’s (5-3) comeback fell short on Thursday as the Wichita State Shockers (2-3) pulled out a 9-5 win over the Trojans from Gary Hogan Field. An early 4-1 lead by the Shockers was dwindled down to 6-5 after six innings, but a three-run frame in the top of the ninth inning by Wichita State proved to be the difference.

Offensively, the Trojans were paced by senior John Clark who finished his evening going 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI’s. Juniors Ben Crumpton and Bryson Thionnet added two hits apiece for UALR who ended the game out-hitting Wichita State 11-9.

Freshman Chad Bradford got the start on the mound for the Trojans, but only lasted two innings as the Shockers quickly greeted the freshman with six hits and two earned runs. Head coach Scott Norwood then turned the ball over to junior relief pitcher Travis McDonald who filled in admirably, tossing 4.1 innings, while striking out five batters and only giving up two runs.

UALR matched Wichita State’s run in the first inning courtesy of an RBI-single down the left field line by Clark that scored junior Austin Pfeiffer all the way from first base. Wichita State answered back in the top of the second inning, adding two more runs with one of those runs coming on a Tyler Baker home run over the right field fence.

After Wichita State added another run in the top of the third inning, UALR clawed its way back into the game thanks again to the bat of Clark. Two back-to-back singles by Crumpton and Pfeiffer led off the inning for the Trojans and were moved into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by senior Blake Johnson. Clark then ripped a double down the right field line, easily scoring Crumpton and Pfeiffer and bringing the Trojans within one run of the Shockers after three complete innings.

Wichita State seemed unfazed, however, producing two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. A two-run home run by Casey Gillaspie extended the Shockers lead to 6-3 midway through the fourth inning.. 

The Trojan offense remained resilient as a home run over the right field fence by Johnson in the fifth inning and an RBI-single by Crumpton in the sixth inning brought the score to 6-5 after six innings of play.

With momentum starting to shift towards the home dugout, the Trojan’s bullpen did its best to keep it there. The bullpen combination of McDonald and freshman Jesse Harbin silenced the Wichita State bats, holding them scoreless from innings 5-8. McDonald and Harbin combined for ten strikeouts, including seven consecutive strikeouts heading into the ninth innings.

Wichita State finally broke through its scoring lull, adding three much-needed runs in the ninth inning and taking momentum away from the Trojans. The Shockers only tallied two hits in the inning, but one walk from relief pitcher Chase Rousseau and three more from junior Dillon Moritz opened the flood gates for Wichita State.

UALR was held scoreless over the final three innings, recording only one hit in that span.

The Trojans return to action Friday afternoon for the first of two games against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Senior right hander Chance Cleveland is projected to take the mound for the Trojans as the Hawkeyes will send out sophomore Sasha Kuebel. First pitch from Gary Hogan Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.


Tags: , , ,