ARKADELPHIA, Arkansas — The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team recorded its first Great American Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday with a 14-2 victory over Henderson State at Clyde Berry Field.
With the victory, the Weevils (36-14) tied a school-record for wins in a single season and punched its ticket to next week’s NCAA Central Regional Tournament. More information about the regional will be released following Sunday night’s selection show at NCAA.com starting at 9 p.m.
In Saturday’s win over HSU (31-24), senior right fielder and GAC Player of the Year Corey Wood got the offense started with a grand slam home run in the top of the third inning. Junior designated hitter Guy Halbert made it a 5-0 lead with a solo home run in the fourth.
Wood was also the catalyst for UAM’s seven-run fifth inning with a three-run double to give him seven RBI for the day and 19 for the tournament, including the opening round games against Harding. Wood had a total of four home runs in the tournament, and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The Weevils added two more runs in the sixth on a double from senior left fielder Kevin Fitzpatrick. HSU got on the board with single runs in the sixth and ninth innings, respectively.
UAM totaled 15 hits in the win, led by three hits from senior catcher Travis Steinke. Senior shortstop Evan Comeau, Fitzpatrick, Wood and Halbert all had two hits each in the game.
Junior Grant Black (4-4) earned the win after giving up one run off four hits in the first seven innings. He joined Wood, Comeau, Fitzpatrick, Steinke and junior second baseman Nick Piraino on the all-tournament team.
This is UAM’s first conference championship in baseball since 1993, and sixth overall in program history.