LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UALR) - The UALR baseball team dropped the rubber game of its three-game series 8-5 to the Bradley Braves at Gary Hogan Field.
For the second game in a row the Trojans (5-2) were able to battle back from an early deficit and take the lead, but once again couldn't close out the game. On Saturday the Braves (5-1) rallied for five runs in the 12th inning, today the visitors used a three-run sixth and two-run innings in the seventh and ninth to win the series.
Cameron Allen started and pitched 5.0 innings allowing four runs, two earned, while striking out two. Allen left the game in the sixth with the score 4-2 and two runners on, but the bullpen was unable to keep those runners from scoring. Bradley then scored two more in the seventh off of Dillon Moritz (0-1) on a two-run double by Greg Partyka.
Dyllon Brownmiller came on and got out of trouble in the seventh and worked a scoreless eighth before allowing a two-run single to Austin Jarvis in the ninth that gave the Braves a n 8-4 lead. The Trojans were able to score in the bottom of the ninth when Ben Crumpton singled home Bryson Thionnet, but came up three runs short.
For just the third time of the season and the second time in the last two games the Trojans failed to win the first inning and were forced to try to come back. But, for the second game in a row, the offense was able to give UALR the lead. Tanner Rockwell led off the bottom of the second with a home run to left field. Justin Steelmon followed with a triple to right center and scored on an Austin Pfeiffer RBI groundout, which gave the Trojans a 2-1 lead.
Steelmon had a one-out double in the fourth and once again was brought home by Pfeiffer who singled into left field. Crumpton led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and later came around to score on a Rockwell sacrifice fly, which made the score 4-1 UALR.
From there the tired bullpen that worked 10.1 innings in Saturday's game just didn't have enough gas to hold on to the lead.
The UALR offense was led again by Steelmon and Crumpton. Steelmon, the first baseman, went 2-for-4 with a triple and a double. Crumpton was also 2-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases. Rockwell produced two RBIs thanks to his home run and sacrifice fly as did Pfeiffer with his RBI single and RBI groundout. Ryan Scott had the team's seventh hit and Thionnet was hit by a pitch in two plate appearances accounting for two of the eight batters that got hit. Bradley shortstop Tyler Leffler outdid Thionnet as he was hit by three pitches on the afternoon.
The Trojans will be back in action with weekday road games at Stephen F. Austin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and at Louisiana Tech at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday. UALR will be back at Gary Hogan Field on Friday at 6:00 p.m. to start a three-game series against IPFW.