Home Runs Spark UALR To 13-1 Win, Sweep Of SIU Edwardsville

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

LITTLE ROCK – After slow offensive performances from the UALR baseball team (5-2) in the first two games of the series, the Trojans erupted with 13 runs and 12 hits on Sunday en route to a series sweep over the SIUE Edwardsville Cougars (1-6). A grand slam by junior Austin Pfeifer, a three-run home run by junior Bryson Thionnet and a solo shot by senior John Clark paved the way for the blowout, giving head coach Scott Norwood his 100th career win at UALR in the process.

Pfeiffer went 3-for-5 on the afternoon with four RBI’s and a run scored. Clark added three hits of his own with two RBI’s and three runs scored, senior Chris Burk went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored and sophomore Sage Gasaway went 1-for-2 with an RBI and one run scored in his season debut as the Trojan’s designated hitter.

Junior Ethan Schlechte got the start on the mound for the Trojans and rebounded well from his first outing. Schlechte worked six complete innings, struck out six batters and only allowed one run as his efforts on Sunday garnered him his first win of the season.

Unlike the first two games of the series, slow offensive starts didn’t plague UALR on Sunday. The Trojans scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and five runs in the bottom of the second inning, putting a stranglehold on the game right from the beginning.

In the first inning, a two-out RBI-single to center field by Burk scored Clark from second base and quickly put the Trojans ahead 2-0. In the next frame, Pfeiffer stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and crushed the first offering from SIUE pitcher Brooks McDowell over the left field wall for a grand slam, capping a five run inning for UALR. For Pfeiffer, it was his first home run of the season and second hit of the game.

The Trojans added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, this time courtesy of a three-run home run over the left field wall by Thionnet. Thionnet’s second home run of the season put UALR on top of SIUE 10-1 after five innings of play.

Three more runners crossed the plate in the bottom of the sixth innings for the Trojans, capped by a 2-RBI single to center field by junior Kaleb Jobe. Jobe finished his afternoon going 1-for-2 with two runs batted in and one run scored.

After Schlechte’s six complete innings, Norwood turned the ball over to his bullpen for the final three frames. Freshman Jesse Harbin, sophomore Stephen Chandler and senior Tyler Buckley pitched the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings respectively and combined for three innings of scoreless baseball.

In the 27 innings played this weekend, the UALR pitching staff allowed a grand total of two runs to SIUE, rebounding from a Tuesday loss to Louisiana Tech.

UALR will ride the momentum of its three game sweep of SIUE and take it on the road with a game against Oklahoma State this coming Tuesday. For the Trojans, it will be the first road game of the 2013 season. First pitch from Stillwater, Okla. is scheduled for 4 p.m.


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