UCA SPORTS INFORMATION
CONWAY — A late rally by the University of Central Arkansas Bears fell a run short Friday as the Creighton Blue Jays held on for a 4-3 victory in the season opener for both teams at Bear Stadium.
The Bears, down 3-0 after two innings, scored single runs in the third off Creighton ace Ty Blach, and in the seventh off Mark Winkelman to set the stage for the bottom of the ninth.
Senior catcher Travis Snider led off with a single through the left side off closer Kurt Spomer for his third hit of the game. After a pair of outs, Logan hit a blooper over the head of Spomer that tipped off his glove and went to shallow right field, scoring Snider from second to make it 4-3. Sophomore center fielder Jonathan Davis, UCA’s leading hitter last year with a .350 average. grounded to short and slid head first into second a split second behind the throw to end the game.
Blach went five innings for the Jays, a 45-16 NCAA Tournament team a year ago, striking out six and allowing two hits. UCA starter Jeffery Enloe, a junior lefthander, had control problems early and allowed one run in the first on no hits and two runs in the second on two hits and an error.
Sophomore Bryce Biggerstaff came on in the third and controlled the Jays’ lineup the rest of the way, going 5.2 innings with no runs, three hits and three strikeouts.
In the third inning, UCA first baseman Bryan Willson had an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Marchal. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Moon’s sacrifice fly to right field. The Bears added a run in the seventh inning when Snider led off with a double to right center and scored on a double play ground ball.
The Bears out-hit the Jays 7-5, with Snider going 3 for 4 and Wilson going 2 for 4.
Moon had a pair of RBIs for the Bears. Designated hitter Scott Thornburg was the only Creighton player with multiple hits, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Game 2 of the series has been moved to 10 a.m. Saturday due to expected inclement weather. The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Bear Stadium.