Photo Courtesy: UCA Athletics (Josh Goff)
NATCHITOCHES, La. (UCA) - For the second time in two days, the Central Arkansas Bears and the Northwestern State Demons found themselves locked in a low-scoring affair. This time though, the baseball gods favored the Bears, as they were able to pick up a 2-1 victory in 11 innings.
Central Arkansas got on the board in the second inning, thanks in large part to Demon starter Ashton Sivigliano. Catcher Michael Marietta stepped to the plate with one out in the inning and, with a 1-1 count, was hit by a pitch. With a full count, Marietta stole second, drawing no throw on a strikeout. With two outs in the inning, Sivigliano threw a pair of wild pitches, allowing Marietta to advance to third on the first, and to come in and score on the second, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Northwestern State was unable to get an equalizer until the bottom of the eighth inning. After a strikeout started the inning, third baseman Edwin Gomez laced a single through the right side. Gomez stole second base and was able to move to third base when the ball was thrown into center field. A single off the bat of center fielder Will Watson found its way through the left side of the Central Arkansas infield, plating Gomez and knotting the score at 1-1.
Central Arkansas retook the lead in the top of the eleventh inning. Marietta led off the inning by singling to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from designated hitter Chris Townsend.
Following a foul out, right fielder Forrestt Allday was intentionally walked to bring second baseman Blake Marchal to the plate. Marchal came through for the Bears, singling to right field to bring Marietta in from second and giving Central Arkansas the 2-1 lead.
Jeffrey Enloe (6-1) gave the Bears their second strong pitching performance from a starter in the series. He threw all eleven innings for the Bears, surrendering one unearned run on one walk and seven hits while striking out eight.
Ashton Sivigliano made his second start of the season for Northwestern State, working just two innings for the Demons. Despite holding the Bears hitless, Sivigliano gave up a run courtesy of two walks, two wild pitches, and a hit batter. Cody Butler was impressive in relief for the Demons, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings. Butler gave up four hits while walking two and striking out two. Steven Spann (2-2) took the loss for the Demons, giving up a run on a pair of hits and three walks over 2.2 innings of work. He struck out three Bears.
The teams will play the rubber match of their three-game set tomorrow afternoon at 1:00.