Photo Courtesy: UCA Athletics (Bradley Widding)
ABILENE, Texas (UCA) - The University of Central Arkansas Bears scored 17 unanswered runs Saturday to grab a come-from-behind 17-7 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology at Abilene Christian's Crutcher Scott Field.
After falling behind 7-0 after just four innings, UCA (3-3) posted back-to-back six-run innings in the fifth and sixth innings, then added four more runs in the seventh inning. UCA finished with 16 hits, including three from catcher Charles Deckard. Chris Townsend and Tyler Langley knocked in four runs each, while Justin Treece and Scott Zimmerle had 3 RBI apiece.
NJIT led 7-0, but only three of the runs were earned as the Bears committed three early errors. After that, the combination of relievers Riley Echols and Jon Rand held the Highlanders scoreless the rest of the way. Echols went 4.1 innings, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 3. Rand pitched the ninth and allowed two hits but no runs.
In the fifth inning, Zimmerle had a two-run double and Decker added an RBI double. UCA picked up six more in the sixth on just five hits. Langley had a two-run single and Zimmerle drew a bases-loaded walk in the frame. Treece added the final run of the inning with a sacrifice to the pitcher, scoring Langley.
In the seventh, Langley had two more RBI with a double to right center, while Treece singled in the final run, scoring Langley again. For good measure, UCA added two more hits and another run on Treece's RBI triple to center that brought in Brandon Montalvo, who had singled and gone to second on an error.
Nine different Bears scored at least one run and six had multiple hits. Deckard finished 3 for 5 with 2 RBI, while Treece, Townsend, Langley, Nick Rougeau and Matt Anderson had two hits each.
The Bears and Highlanders will meet again at 11 a.m. Sunday. UCA returns home next weekend, hosting Illinois State in a four-game series at Bear Stadium.