SUGAR LAND, Texas – Now the highest seed alive, No. 2 Central Arkansas initiated the first run rule victory of the 2019 Southland Conference Tournament with an 11-0 triumph over No. 6 Stephen F. Austin on Thursday.
Sophomore starter Gavin Stone went the distance for the Bears, striking out five and only surrendering six hits to the Lumberjacks.
Designated hitter Tanner Wiley went 2 for 4 with five RBI on a pair of doubles to power the UCA offense.
Central Arkansas’ first four batters reached base and loaded the bases for Wiley, who cleared the bags with a double down the left-field line to go ahead 3-0.
After the first frame, the bats went quiet on both sides as the Bears and Lumberjacks combined for just five hits over as many innings.
Stone turned a trio of 1-2-3 innings and punched out three, while SFA starter Trayson Kubo battled through three walks to keep UCA from opening up the lead.
A Josh Ragan double with no out in the seventh put runners at second and third and drove Kubo out of the game with Johnny Cardenas going to his pen for freshman Jaxon Covington.
On his first official pitch, Jay Anderson dashed home on a Covington wild pitch and Wiley followed with his second RBI double of the evening to extend the lead to 6-0.
In the following inning, the Bears put up a five spot on RBI doubles from Anderson and Tyler Smith and an additional run-scoring base knock off the bat of Beau Orlando.
UCA added the final run on a passed ball, allowing Alonso Bibiano to touch home.
Stephen F. Austin earns a rematch with No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana at 9 a.m. CT with the winner set to face Central Arkansas at 4 p.m. and the loser forced to head home.