NORMAN, Okla. - UALR (18-18) swept its doubleheader against No. 10 Oklahoma (28-10) on Tuesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Trojans were able to pull off the sweep thanks to a couple of stellar pitching performances, as junior Travis McDonald worked 6.2 innings and held the Sooners to just two runs on six hits in game one, and junior Ethan Schlechte went 8.0 innings while giving up three runs on seven hits in game two.
The UALR baseball team knocked off No. 10 Oklahoma 5-2 in game one of its doubleheader at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Tuesday. In the first start of his UALR career, junior Travis McDonald (1-1) worked 6.2 innings and held the Sooners to just two runs on six hits to pick up the win.
Senior Myles Parma led the UALR offense with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate to go along with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Sam Vogel hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the sixth that built a 5-0 lead for UALR. The Trojans totaled eight hits on the day compared to six for the Sooners.
Junior Dillon Moritz came on for McDonald with two outs on the board in the bottom of the seventh. Moritz did not allow a hit over the next 2.1 innings and retired the ninth in order.
After the two teams combined for no runs and just one hit over the first two innings, UALR lit up the scoreboard with a run on two hits in the top of the third. Sophomore Sage Gasaway led off the frame with a single to left, and junior Bryson Thionnet followed with an RBI double that scored Gasaway and put UALR on top 1-0.
The Trojans went up 2-0 on the Sooners in their next set of at-bats. Senior Blake Johnson led off the fourth with a single to left center. An infield hit by classmate John Clark allowed Johnson to move to third, and a sacrifice fly to deep right off the bat of Chris Burk brought home the second UALR run of the contest.
Following a scoreless fifth, Burk ripped a two-out double in the top of the sixth, then came home on an RBI single up the middle by Parma. With Parma on first, Vogel's two-run shot to left put the Trojans up 5-0 and chased OU starter Corey Copping from the game.
The Sooners were able to get a run back thanks to a couple of hits and a UALR error in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-1 game. OU added its second run in the bottom of the seventh, as it loaded the bases on two singles and a walk by McDonald. Moritz then came on to pitch and immediately issued a walk to Jack Mayfield to bring in the Sooners' second run.
But Moritz settled in from there, getting Max White to hit a grounder back to the mound for the third out of the inning. The right-hander did not surrender a hit over the next two innings and retired the ninth in order to secure the win for the Trojans.
UALR completed the sweep of the Sooners with a 4-3 victory in game two at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Junior Austin Pfeiffer and Clark totaled three hits each to lead a UALR offense that put up 10 hits on the OU pitching staff.
Schlechte got the start and went 8.0 innings, his longest outing of the season, and surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Senior Tyler Buckley recorded the final outs to pick up his second save of the season.
UALR picked up where it left off in the top of the first, scoring two runs on three hits to grab the early lead. A one-out single by Pfeiffer was followed with a drawn walk by Johnson. In an attempt at a double steal, Pfeiffer reached third, but Johnson was thrown out at second for out number two of the inning. But an RBI single by Clark plated UALR's first run of the contest, while a two-out double by Burk brought home Clark and put UALR up 2-0.
But the early offense dissolved into a pitcher's duel from there, as neither team scored a run until the bottom of the sixth inning. That's when OU tallied its first run of the game, as a throwing error by Johnson allowed the Sooners' Craig Aikin to steal third and come home when the ball sailed into left field.
UALR provided an immediate answer, going up 3-1 on a solo homer by Thionnet in the top of the seventh. Still up two in the top of the ninth, UALR added an insurance run on a RBI double by Pfeiffer. Thionnet drew a walk to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt by sophomore Ben Crumpton. Pfeiffer's double to right center allowed Thionnet to cross home plate and give the Trojans a three-run cushion.
OU was able to cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the ninth, as a two-run shot by Matt Oberste made it a 4-3 game before a single out was recorded in the frame. Buckley came on for Schlechte after Oberste's homer and retired the first two batters he faced on strikes. Buckley was then able to get Max White to groundout to second base for the third and final out of the game.
The Trojans return to action this weekend when they travel to Troy, Ala., to face the Troy Trojans in a three-game set beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
Patrick Newton: Assistant Sports Information Director