Photo Courtesy: UCA Athletics (Josh Goff)
CONWAY, Ark. (UCA) -- The University of Central Arkansas Bears erupted for 10 runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 7-6 deficit and record a wild 16-8 victory over the UT Martin Skyhawks on Tuesday at Bear Stadium.
The Bears (29-10) sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 times on just five hits to blow the game open. The Skyhawks had taken a 7-6 lead on the fourth of their five home runs off the UCA bullpen. But UCA, which improved to 18-2 at home this season, ran away from the Skyhawks (10-30), who entered the game with a 1-16 road record.
UCA junior center fielder Jonathan Davis went 4 for 5 with 5 RBI and 2 runs scored, and also stole 3 bases. Senior catcher Michael Marietta added 3 RBI on a bases-clearing double to left center in the big seventh inning.
The Bears loaded the bases in each of the first three innings but left eight runners on and scored just once, tying the game at 1-1 after three innings. UCA got three more runs in the fourth, with consecutive double steals, the second bringing in Davis. UCA also got a run in the third on a perfectly executed safety squeeze butn by Doug Votolato.
After UTM scored one in the top of the fifth, UCA got two back on Davis' two-run single in the bottom of the inning. But the Skyhawks added two runs in the sixth on Nico Zych's two-run home run, then got three more in the seventh on consecutive home runs by Byron Johann and Matt Haynes.
Five of UCA's six relief pitchers allowed a home run as the Skyhawks totaled 12 hits. UCA finished with 16 hits, with Justin Treece going 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored, Marchal going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored, and Harris going 2 for 3 off the bench. Forrestt Allday went 1 for 1 in his leadoff role, with two walks, two sacrifices and two runs scored.
Blake Clayton (2-0) got the win in relief, while UTM reliever John Houston (1-6) took the loss.
UCA returns to Southland Conference play this weekend at McNeese State in Lake Charles, La.