Sunday, May 1, 2016


MONTICELLO — The 20th-ranked University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team kept its Great American Conference regular season championship hopes alive by splitting with Southern Arkansas on Senior Day.

The Weevils lost the first game 10-6 before earning a 7-5 victory in the second half of the double-header. The rubber game is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. at Weevils Field. UAM must win that game to clinch a share of the GAC title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament.

The Muleriders (29-18, 18-14 GAC) racked up 15 hits in the first game, while UAM (31-13, 21-8 GAC) managed 10. SAU struck first with three runs in the second inning, but UAM answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, featuring RBI at bats from junior Guy Halbert, senior Evan Comeau, senior Kevin Fitzpatrick and senior Corey Wood.

SAU hit through the lineup in the top of the third and ended up scoring five runs to regain the lead. The Muleriders added to their lead with one run in the fifth to go up 9-4.

Wood belted his 18th home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh, a two-run shot to right center to trim UAM’s deficit down to three runs at 9-6. SAU finalized the scoring on a solo home run from Trevor Rucker in the top of the eighth.

Senior first baseman Mitchell Dornblut went 3-for-4 to account for nearly a third of UAM’s hits. Wood was 2-for-4. Senior Nick Piraino was 2-for-3.

In the second game, SAU scored all of its runs on home runs, back-to-back shots to center from Jake Tisevich and Trevor Rucker in the third and a solo shot to left center from Jackson Murphy in the sixth.

The Weevils got on the board in the bottom of the third on an RBI double from Comeau. UAM rallied for four more in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.

In that four-run fifth, UAM had three straight run producing at bats, highlighted by a two-run single from Wood to give him a school-record-tying 60 RBI this season.

After SAU forced a 5-all tie in the sixth on Murphy’s home run, the Weevils rallied for two more in the bottom half of the frame an on another RBI double from Comeau and an RBI fielder’s choice from Fitzpatrick.

Sophomore Braden Chambers (10-0) became the third pitcher in UAM baseball history to record at least 10 wins in a single season. He gave up five runs off six hits, but struck out eight and only walked one in six innings of the scheduled seven-inning contest.

Senior Chad Bradford recorded his fourth save of the year by retiring the Muleriders in order in the top of the seventh.

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