CONWAY, Ark. _ The University of Central Arkansas Bears gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning Friday night and dropped a 4-3 decision to the Southeastern Louisiana Lions in the Southland Conference series opener at Bear Stadium.
The Lions (29-17, 12-7), down 3-1, put together three one-out hits and a hit batter off UCA starter Caleb McClanahan to make it 3-2 before UCA shortstop Justin Treece commited an error on a ground ball that could have been a game-ending double play. The Lions got two runs off the miscue to take a 4-3 lead before McClanahan recorded the final two outs. The Bears then went in order in the bottom of the inning to lose their first series opener since April 5 at Northwestern State.
McClanahan (8-4), this week's SLC Pitcher of the Week, cruised through eight innings, allowing six hits and just one run until the ninth. The Bears took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on catcher Michael Marietta's RBI triple to right center that scored freshman designated hitter Chris Townsend, who was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base on the night.
UCA added two more runs in the sixth against SLU starter Andro Cutura, who went seven innings, throwing 150 pitches and allowing nine hits, two earned runs and striking out nine and walking six. Dylan Hills (3-1) pitched the final two innings for the victory.
Senior right fielder Forrestt Allday went 2 for 3 with an RBI for UCA,while junior center fielder Jonathan Davis was 2 for 5. For the Lions, Harry Slade, Jesse Buratt and Ladd Rhodes had two hits apiece. McClanahan allowed nine hits and three earned runs while striking out four, walking one and hitting two.
Game 2 of the series is set for 6:30 Saturday.
Steve East: Media Relations