The duo of Hunter Strong and Ross Rogers combined to carry the University of Central Arkansas Bears to an easy 14-3 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Tuesday night at Bear Stadium.
Strong, a junior left fielder from Sheridan, went four for five with a career-high six RBI, continuing his mastery of the Red Wolves this season.
In two games against ASU, Strong went 8 for 10 with eight RBI and three runs scored. Rogers (3-1), a sophomore right hander from Fordyce, came on in relief to start the fourth inning and allowed just two hits and struck out a career-high seven batters over six scoreless innings to earn the victory.
The Bears (29-18) won their sixth consecutive game, but had to overcome an early 2-0 deficit to do it.
ASU (17-27) got a two-run home run from first baseman Kyle McDonald in the top of the first but UCA answered with three runs in the bottom.
Strong had an RBI single to left field and senior shortstop Josh Somdercerff followed with a two-run home run that easily cleared the left-field wall that gave the Bears a 3-2 lead.
The Red Wolves tied it with another home run in the third inning but would not score again.
Meanwhile, the Bears took advantage of sloppy defense and ASU's wildness on the mound to plate six runs on just two hits in the fifth inning.
The Bears drew four consecutive walks before Strong stroked a two-run double to left field.
Rigo Aguilar added a two-run single up the middle and two more runs came across on errors to make it a 9-3 lead.
Strong followed Coby Potvin's double with another RBI double into the left field corner in the sixth before the Bears scored four more times in the seventh, with the aid of just two hits, one of which was Strong's third double of the game, which brought in two of the runs.
Strong now has 43 career doubles after setting the single-season school record last year with 24.
Somdecerff and Aguilar had two RBI each, while Potvin scored three times and Keaton Presley, Somdecerff, Aguilar and Black twice each.
UCA returnd to Southland Conference play this weekend against Southeastern Louisiana on Senior Weekend at Bear Stadium.
Mt. Vernon-Enola Baseball
The Warhawks advanced to the second round of the 1A State Baseball Tournament with a 9-7 win over County Line on Wednesday at Mountain Home.
MVE will face Armorel, who received a first round bye after finishing with a 9-1 1A Region 3 East Conference record.
Armorel has won 10 consecutive games, including a district and regional tournament championship.