Conway, Ark. -The Central Arkansas Bears and the Lamar Cardinals battled not only each other on Saturday afternoon, but also the elements, seeing the start time of their game pushed back twice in an effort to avoid rain. When the game finally began, it proved to be a low-scoring affair, with Lamar edging out Central Arkansas 3-2 in 11 innings.
The Bears wasted no time in getting on the board, scratching out a run in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. Lamar starter Jonathan Dziedzic struggled in the inning, giving up a pair of singles to the first two batters he faced. A balk and a stolen base in the mix added up to give Central Arkansas (21-7, 2-4 SLC) runners at second and third with one out. An intentional walk loaded the bases, and following a strikeout, third baseman Garrett Brown drew a walk to plate the game's first run and give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
The Bears added a run in the third when second baseman Blake Marchal hit a home run, his second of the series, onto the party deck in left field, pushing the Bears' lead to 2-0.
Lamar(22-8, 1-5 SLC) got on the board in the top of the fourth inning, when shortstop Sam Bumpers hit his second bomb of the series to left center field to pull the Cardinals within a run.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of Central Arkansas until there were two outs in the top of the ninth. A single, wild pitch, and ground out saw Lamar pinch runner Joe Arichiga standing on third base with two outs. Another wild pitch brought him in to tie the game at 2-2.
Central Arkansas was unable to secure the win in the bottom of the ninth, and the teams traded zeroes in the tenth inning, before Lamar took the lead in the top of the 11th.
The Cardinals started the inning with a leadoff walk, a pop up, a single, and another walk, loading the bases for first baseman Brad Picha. Picha lashed a single to center field to give Lamar the 3-2 lead. Central Arkansas got a double play to minimize the damage and get out of the inning.
The Bears were unable to get an equalizer in the bottom of the frame, going down in order.
Bryce Biggerstaff was more than effective on the mound for Central Arkansas, working 10 innings for the Bears. He scattered nine hits over his outing, giving up two runs on a walk and four strikeouts. Griffin Glaude (0-1) recorded one out in the 11th, giving up a run on one hit and two walks. Clint Green finished the inning, recording two outs.
The Bears return to the field on Tuesday, hosting Arkansas-Little Rock at 6:00 pm. Central Arkansas will then head to Natchitoches, Louisiana to play a three game series against Southland Conference foe Northwestern State.
Charlie Skinner: UCA Media Relations