UAFS Diamond Lions Rout Royals In Home Finale


FORT SMITH, Ark. – Seven UAFS Diamond Lions pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout on Tuesday night as the team run-ruled the Ecclesia Royals 13-0 to celebrate the home finale at Crowder Field.

It was a grand send off for six UAFS seniors, who were playing their final home game of the season.

UAFS (24-22) swept the nonconference series with Ecclesia (25-25), which lost to UAFS 6-4 at Crowder Field earlier in the year.

Fifth-year senior pitcher Tyler Davis, who has battled nagging injuries throughout his collegiate career, earned the win for the Diamond Lions. The former Charleston Tiger, who finished the season 2-0, allowed two hits and struck out one in 1 2/3 innings before a pre-planned exit to a round of applause and hugs from his teammates.

Ecclesia’s only other hit came off UAFS senior Eric Tiefenthaler, who was the third Diamond Lions hurler.

Second baseman Gerry Sifuentes was 1 for 3 and first baseman Eckersley Villasmil and third baseman Guy Halbert were each 1 for 2 to lead the Royals, who left seven runners on base.

The Diamond Lions pounded three Royals pitchers for 16 hits, including three for extra bases. Royals starter Justin Southerland suffered the loss, allowing seven runs – all earned – on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts over three innings.

Seven Diamond Lions collected at least one hit, and five had multiple hits. Designated hitter Ryan Justus was 4 for 4 with double and one RBI, left fielder Josh Vanderpool was 3 for 4 with two RBI, first baseman Brennan Rogers was 3 for 4 with four RBI, third baseman Jake Bunch was 2 for 4 and shortstop Ozzie Hurt was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI.

UAFS will close the regular season this weekend when it begins a three-game Heartland Conference series against Newman at McCarthy Field in Wichita, Kan. The Diamond Lions are one game behind the University of Texas of the Permian Basin for the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament.

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