The University of Central Arkansas baseball team swept a season-opening series with a 16-13 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in the finale at Bear Stadium on Sunday.
The Bears (3-0) were outhit by the Cougars (0-3) 20-14 but took advantage of nine walks and four hit batters.
The Bears took an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a three-run double by sophomore Ethan Harris and a RBI-ground out by junior Bryan Willson. The Cougars responded with a seven-run second, connecting on seven hits during the frame. Joel Greatting hit a two-run homer that went over the foul pole in left field during the inning.
UCA regained the lead 8-7 when they scored four times in the third. Sophomore Michael Marietta had a two-run double and later scored from third on a balk by reliever Ryan Daniels. Senior Michael Pair also had a sacrifice fly, scoring senior shortstop Kyle Prevett.
SIUE later took a 9-8 in the fourth on RBI-base hits from center fielder Mitch Matecki and Greatting. The Cougars added another run in the sixth when Matecki doubled in second baseman James Vazquez.
The Bears tied the game at 10 in the seventh when junior Blake Roberts hit a two-run double that scored Jordan Getchell and Pair. UCA scored six more runs in the eighth when Kyle Prevett led off with a double, was bunted over to third and scored on a squeeze bunt from Getchell. Zack Dickson plated two runs later in the inning with a base hit and Bryan Willson hit a three-run shot that sailed over the scoreboard in left field for the big blow.
Willson led UCA with a double, a home run and four runs driven in. Harris had two hits with three RBI and Marietta, Prevett, Getchell also had two hits each. Michael Pair walked three times and crossed the plate three times. Blake Roberts tied a school record by getting hit by a pitch three times.
Sophomore John Kordsmeier picked up the win for the Bears, striking out one in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Dustin Qauttrocchi allowed five hits, three runs and three walks in 2 1/3 innings of relief for the loss.