Bears Finish Sweep, Earn Sixth Seed for SLC Tourney

NEW ORLEANS (UCA) - The University of Central Arkansas Bears completed the sweep of New Orleans on Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 victory and sealed the sixth seed for next week's Southland Conference Tournament.

The Bears (29-21, 17-13) won their sixth straight game to close the regular season and finished with the most league victories since joining the SLC in 2007. UCA, the defending SLC Tournament champion, enters with the longest winning streak of any of the eight teams.

UCA overcame a 3-2 deficit after just one inning Saturday and took the lead for good with two runs in the third inning to complete the scoring. Sophomore right hander Connor Gilmore went seven innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. Junior Connor McClain pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings for his second save in as many days.

The Bears out-hit the Privateers 11-8, with Nate Ferrell going 3 for 5 and Wesley Hoover, Tyler Langley and Justin Treece picking up two hits apiece.

Senior Doug Votolato opened the game with a double and eventually scored on Ferrell's RBI single up the middle. Ferrell made it 2-0, coming in on Langley's ground out.

The Privateers, who closed the season 11-38 overall and 2-28 in league play, answered with three runs in the bottom of the first off just two hits on their Senior Day.

In the third inning, Langley added another RBI single and senior Scott Zimmerle had a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run. After that, the Privateers left at least one runner on base in every inning but could not score again. The Bears also left seven runners on base after the third, and 10 for the game.

UNO starter Raymond Winter went 8 1/3 innings in his final career start, allowing 11 hits but just four runs, and striking out five. Votolato, Ferrell and catcher Brandon Montalvo each had doubles for the Bears, while Carson Dowdle stole his seventh base of the season.

UCA opens play at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Bear Stadium against the No. 3 seed.


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