CONWAY, Ark. _ Back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning carried the University of Central Arkansas Bears to a 5-4 victory over the Nicholls State Colonels in Southland Conference action on Friday night at Bear Stadium.
Junior center fielder Jonathan Davis went deep in left field and junior first baseman Scott Zimmerle hit one out in right field three pitches later for a 3-1 UCA lead. The Bears (25-8, 5-5) put across two more runs in the seventh inning, then survived an eighth-inning rally by the Colonels. UCA improved to 16-1 at home this season.
UCA senior righthander Caleb McClanahan improved to 6-3 on the season, going seven innings, allowing six hits and just one earned run, striking out five and walking one. Senior Clint Green came on and got the final six outs, including a 1-2-3 ninth inning, for his second save.
Davis, from Camden, went 3 for 4 with a home run and double and stole two bases. Leadoff batter Forrestt Allday went 2 for 4 with and RBI double in the fifth inning for the first run of the game.
The Colonels (16-19, 1-9) put up three runs in the eighth inning before Green got out of the inning with a strikeout, a fly ball to right field and liner to second base.
After Nicholls closed the gap to 3-1 in the sixth, the Bears put up two more runs in the seventh as shortstop Justin Treece singled down the right-field line, advanced to third on two ground outs and scored on Blake Marchal's single to center field. Marchal then came in on Ethan Harris' double to the left-center gap, that chased NSU starter Mike Suk, who dropped to 1-4 on the season.
Matt Richard amd Mike Barba had two hits each for the Colonels.
Head baseball coach Allen Gum joined the 300 Club with the victory over Nicholls State at Bear Stadium.
Gum, in his third season at UCA, has now won 301 games as a collegiate baseball coach after the Bears took two of three games from Nicholls State over the weekend. The Bentonville native won 226 games in five seasons at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, and has totaled 75 in less than three seasons at UCA.
Gum led the Bears to their first Southland Conference Tournament appearance last season, and their first Top 25 national ranking earlier this season. UCA is currently 26-9 overall, with three victories over Top 25 teams Mississippi State and Oklahoma State this season.
The Bears' 26 wins are one short of tying the most victories since moving to NCAA Division I in 2007, with 18 regular-season games remaining.
Steve East: Media Relations