Knock Down Drag Out Goes Extra Rounds, Er, Innings for UCA Bears Win


UPDATE 4/3/14 5:05 p.m.


“The University of Central Arkansas athletics department regrets the incident that occurred during Wednesday night’s baseball game between the Bears and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans at Bear Stadium. We realize there is no place  in collegiate athletics for such an incident.

“Emotions sometimes run high in athletic contests, particularly in close, highly-contested games such as Wednesday night’s extra-inning game. And sometimes those emotions get out of hand, which was the case last night at Bear Stadium.

“UCA Athletics would like to apologize to our colleagues from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the fans from both institutions that were in attendance. This is not the atmosphere that the University of Central Arkansas, the UCA Athletics Department and specifically the UCA Baseball Program desires for its home sporting events.

“UCA Baseball, under the direction of head coach Allen Gum and his staff, has long been known as an entertaining and exciting family friendly activity and we will ensure that continues to occur moving forward.’

Under NCAA guidelines, three players and an assistant coach for UCA and four players for UALR drew suspensions. UCA’s suspensions included four games for junior Nate Ferrell and sophomore Brandon Montalvo, four games for assistant coach Trent Kline and eight games for sophomore Matt Anderson.

UALR had three players that drew four-game suspensions and one with with an eight-game suspension.

UPDATE: 4/3/14 2:22 p.m.

We reached out to the Sun Belt Conference’s Associate Commissioner/Communications, John McElwain, via email about the fight involving the UALR baseball team at UCA. UALR is a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

McElwain, replied: “Internal review taking place – no further comment at this time.”

A version of the Sun Belt Conference’s Administrative Bylaws from former SBC member Florida Atlantic is below. We are working to provide the most current version of them. McElwain tells us a current version doesn’t exist online for our reference.


10.1 – Sporting Behavior

    Pursuant to the integrity of higher education, the Sun Belt Conference holds all individuals associated with an institution’s athletic department and events to the highest ideals of sporting behavior. All athletic administrators, coaches, student-athletes, spirit groups and fans shall act with respect, fairness, civility and honesty in an effort to create an appropriate environment for athletic competition as well as a positive image for their universities. Taunting, baiting, and fighting are unacceptable behaviors.

Here are videos of the incident, the first one courtesy of the comment from Trey below:

Talk about burying the lead of a story or not even mentioning the news at all. WOW! So the desk wakes up to begin another early morning of rounding up the news for sporting life Arkansans. We open up Twitter and realize we were bombarded with late night tweets of a massive brawl during the baseball game between the UCA Bears and UALR Trojans. The game went extra innings, with the UCA Bears claiming a 5-4 victory over the Trojans.

However, the big news was a 10th-inning, bench-clearing knock down drag out between the two teams that saw both head coaches ejected.

Here are a couple of videos of the scene from Jarrod Robinson posted on Instagram. In the first video, Robinson reports: “Alright everyone pay attention [the] dude getting knocked down is the UALR head coach! He got knocked smooth out.”

Here is how UCA reported the game. At least the “argument” was mentioned. Bolding adding by us to highlight the sections where the news of the night was written:

CONWAY, Ark. – The third consecutive extra-inning game between the University of Central Arkansas and UALR finally went in the Bears’ favor Wednesday night as they downed the Trojans 5-4 in 11 innings at Bear Stadium.

The Bears, who had lost five straight to the Trojans, got a lead-off walk in the 11th inning from Tyler Langley, one of 11 base on balls issued by a combination of 10 UALR pitchers. Doug Votolato’s sacrifice bunt moved him to second base before Chris Townsend walked.

Nate Ferrell then hit a one-out fly ball to center field that the UALR center fielder dropped, allowing Langley to slide in with the winning run and end a game that lasted 3:50 and saw both head coaches ejected during a heated 10th inning.

UCA junior Connor McClain pitched the final three innings for the Bears, allowing no hits, no runs and striking out four to improve to 4-1 on the season. The Bears made the most of their five hits and four hit by pitches, but left 11 runners on base, hitting into bases-loaded double plays to end both the third and fourth innings.

UALR (11-15) took a 2-0 lead in the third inning off UCA starter Riley Echols on a line-drive home run to left field by leadoff batter Ben Crumpton. The Trojans pushed the lead to 4-0 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, but the Bears answered with two runs on an RBI ground out by Brandon Montalvo and a throwing error by UALR.

UCA tied it in the eighth as Nate Ferrell had an infield single and eventually scored on an error on UALR pitcher Ethan Schlechte, and pinch hitter Clint Dowdle added an RBI single that scored Justin Treece.

McClain struck out two in the ninth and UCA left two runners on base in the frame to send it to extra innings. After McClain got the Trojans in order again in the 10th, UCA’s Dowdle was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the 10th which brought on the argument, a long delay and the eventual ejections.

Bo Stitch, Connor Gilmore and McClain held the Trojans to one hit, no runs and struck out six over the final 5 2/3 innings. Crumpton led the UALR offense, going 3 for 5. Tanner Rockwell (0-2), who started in right field, took the loss in two innings of relief. 

UCA returns to Southland Conference action at home this weekend, hosting Southeastern Louisiana. The series begins at 6 p.m. Friday. 

An this how the game was reported by UALR. Not one mention of even an “argument”:

CONWAY, Ark. – The Trojans jumped out to a lead behind Ben Crumpton’s bat, but couldn’t hold on and lost 5-4 in 11 innings at Central Arkansas.

After UALR (11-15) jumped out to a 4-0 lead UCA (16-10) came back and sent the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th the Bears got a runner on second and an error in the outfield allowed him to race home for a walk-off win.

The Trojans built their 2-0 lead on Crumpton’s two-run home run in the third inning and built on to it while using a plethora of pitchers.

Cory Malcom made his first start of his career and worked the first two innings allowing no runs on one hit and struck out two. Jake Busiek came on to work the third but got into a bases loaded jam after hitting two batters and walking another. The Trojans turned to Dillon Moritz with one out and the senior got out of the inning with a 1-2-3 double play to keep the two-run lead.

Moritz, then, ran into trouble in the fourth walking two and allowing a bunt single to load the bases with one out again. But just like he did the inning before he induced a groundball double play to end the inning.

Moritz worked two outs into the fifth before UALR turned to Josh Merrill to be its fourth pitcher of the night. Moritz finished the night with 2.1 innings inducing two double plays and allowing one hit.

Merrill walked the first batter he faced but the next Bear lined a pitch back up the middle. The ball hit Merrill, but the junior was able to pick up the ball and throw the runner out before being helped off by the training staff.

The Trojans added to their lead in the fifth. Crumpton led off with an infield single beforeTanner Rockwell and Justin Steelmon beat out infield singles of their own to load the bases. With two outs Austin Pfeiffer singled into left field to score Rockwell and Steelmon to make it 4-0.

Cody Stringer started the bottom of the sixth on the mound for UALR but only faced one batter before the Trojans turned to Chase Rousseau.  A walk and hit batter loaded the bases again for UCA. After a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Rousseau trying to pick off the runner at second allowed two runs to score and make it 4-2.

Ethan Schlechte became the seventh UALR hurler used in the game and worked a perfect seventh inning to hold the two-run lead.

Garrett Sherrell came in to pitch the eighth. The freshman allowed two hits, a walk and made an error in the field to allow UCA to tie the game 4-4. Dyllon Brownmiller came in with runners on the corners with no outs and got the first batter he faced to line into a double play. Brownmiller, then, got the third out with a routine groundball to Pfeiffer at shortstop to end the threat.

Once again the Trojans found themselves in some trouble in the bottom of the ninth, but Rockwell replaced Brownmiller and sent the game to extra innings getting two out. Rockwell took the loss allowing an unearned run in the 11th after working 2.0 innings.

Crumpton’s big night led the Trojans’ offensive attack as they outhit the Bears 8-4. The senior collected three hits including a two run home run. Pfeiffer added the other two RBIs on the night with his two-run single in the fifth. Steelmon collected two hits and scored a run. Drew Merten and Rockwell collected the team’s other two hits.

UALR will return to Little Rock for a three-game series against Georgia State. The first game of the series and the first meeting between the two programs will be Friday at 6:00 p.m. Game two on Saturday will start at 4:00 p.m. with the finale on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Even The Sporting News reported on the “basebrawl” last night, concluding:

This isn’t the first collegiate basebrawl of the season, that honor goes to Florida State and Florida.

But that was a mere scuffle compared to this.

Central Arkansas went on to win the game, 5-4 in 11 innings.

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