UALR Falls in Game Three at Middle Tennessee, 8-6

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee (18-16, 5-7 SBC) won its series against UALR with an 8-6 victory over the Trojans (15-16, 4-8 SBC) at Reese Smith Jr. Field on Sunday. UALR captured an 11-1 victory in game one of the series, but MT rebounded with back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday to earn the series win.

The UALR offense put up 11 hits in the loss on Sunday. Senior Chris Burk led the charge with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate to go along with two RBI. Senior Blake Johnson was 1-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored. Senior David Guarno hit his third home run of the season.

Thomas Miller led the Blue Raider offense with three hits and two RBI on Sunday.

Junior Ethan Schlechte got the start for the Trojans but lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits. Schlechte was dealt the loss to fall to 3-4 on the year, while MT’s Aaron Hyder earned his first victory of the season after surrendering no runs on two hits in 2.1 innings of relief work. UALR relief pitchers Bubba Cooper, Chase Rousseau and Tyler Buckley combined to give up just two runs on six hits over the final 6.2 innings.

Middle Tennessee began the game by tallying three runs in the bottom halves of the first and second innings. A two-run homer by Hank LaRue gave the Blue Raiders a 2-0 lead, while an RBI double by Michael Adkins put MT up 3-0 after an inning of play.

UALR was able to get a run back on Guarno’s solo shot in the top of the second, but Middle Tennessee answered with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame to build a 6-1 lead after two innings of play.

UALR cut its deficit to three with two runs off a double by Burk in the top of the third. After junior Ben Crumpton, Johnson and senior Myles Parma all drew walks to load the bases, Burk ripped a two-RBI double to right to make it a 6-3 game.

The Blue Raiders added to their lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. LaRue and Johnny Thomas both reached on singles, and Adkins was able to hit a two-out single to center that plated LaRue for MT’s seventh run of the game. Another RBI single by Jake Ellison with two outs on the board allowed Thomas to cross home plate and make in an 8-3 game in favor of Middle Tennessee.

A two-run homer by Johnson in the top of the fifth pulled UALR back within three. After two scoreless innings, an RBI double by Vogel pushed across senior John Clark to make it an 8-6 game heading into the bottom of the eighth.

After Middle Tennessee went scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, UALR was able to get two runners on with two outs in the top of the ninth. Junior Kaleb Jobe drew a walk, and a single by Burk resulted in a throwing error by the Middle Tennesee second baseman that allowed both runners to advance. With runners at second and third, Paul Mittura was able to get Clark out on strikes to end the UALR scoring threat.

UALR returns to action on Wednesday, April 10, when the Trojans travel to Tulsa, Okla., to face Oral Roberts at 6:30 p.m.

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