Coming home was certainly sweet for the University of Central Arkansas baseball team Thursday night.
The Bears, who ha played 12 of the last 13 games on the road, returned to Bear Stadium and rolle past the Lamar Cardinals, 10-0, in a run-rule victory to open a Southland Conference series.
UCA (20-6, 1-3) improved to 13-0 at home this season and shut out the Cardinals (21-7, 1-3) for the fourth consecutive time in Conway, dating back to last season’s series sweep.
The Bears, who lost three straight at Oral Roberts last weekend, jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning on Garrett Brown’s sacrifice fly that scored Michael Marietta. UCA made it 4-0 in the third, with second baseman Blake Marchal’s first career home run, a two-run shot, the big blow.
Forrestt Allday added an RBI single to left field in the inning. Marchal, who had five RBI in Tuesday’s 11-3 win over No. 18 Oklahoma State, added three more Thursday, going 2 for 3 and scoring twice. He added an RBI double to the wall in left field in the fifth inning.
UCA blew the game open with six runs in the fifth, batting around against Lamar starter David Carver and reliever Will Hibbs. Carver allowed six earned runs and Hibbs gave up the other four.
Meanwhile, UCA senior righthander Caleb McClanahan cruised to a complete-game, three-hit victory, allowing just three singles and no runner past first base. McClanahan (5-2), from Wynne, struck out four in his second complete game of the season.
Marietta finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored, while Brown was 2 for 2 and shortstop Justin Treece went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, including a two-run double down the right-field line.
Game 2 of the series is set for 6 p.m. Friday.