Avoiding the inclement weather is never easy, but the University of Central Arkansas Bears baseball team overcame Mother Nature over the weekend.
What was scheduled to be a three-game series spread across three days between the Bears ()9-6, 3-0 Southland Conference) and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks became a three-game, two-day series. UCA came from behind in all three games at Bear Stadium for a three-game sweep over SFA (8-8, 0-3).
"Baseball lends itself to change," said UCA coach Allen Gum said. "Just like the UALR game has been moved to Wednesday. It’s just something you just get used to because it’s not like basketball, where it’s guaranteed. But we had to play our second doubleheader this season, and that’s something you have to deal with.
"It’s always a great feeling getting off to a great start," Gum added. "We battle through adversity throughout the series, so starting 3-0 in conference is great."
The Bears fell behind 7-0 in the fifth inning of the opening game of the series Saturday, but the tide of the game shifted in the bottom half of the inning. UCA scored nine unanswered runs between the fifth and seventh innings for a comeback victory.
In the first half of Sunday’s doubleheader, UCA struck first, but fell behind 2-1 by the eighth inning before tying in the ninth and winning on a walkoff single through the right side of the infield.
By the seventh inning of the second half off Sunday’s doubleheader, the Bears found themselves behind 4-1 before scoring four runs in the seventh inning completing a third comeback in three games.
Gum has said offense has been a problem for UCA this season, but felt better after the weekend.
"Our offense was a lot better," Gum said. "We went back this week with fundamentals like strike zone discipline, a good two-strike approach. Stuff like that really paid off this weekend. Hopefully, we can build off of it. It’s still not where we want it to be, but we just back to the basics and it helped a lot."
The Bears also received help from the older players in completing the comebacks.
"Our seniors really stepped up this weekend," Gum said. "They have been struggling too and they really stepped up for us. They played big and got big hits."
UCA plays Little Rock in the first game of the Rock N Roar three-game series at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock. The game was rescheduled from Tuesday because of wet grounds.
(Staff Writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1246.)