Demons Split Twin-Bill In Conway
CONWAY, Ark.—Northwestern State started the Sunday twinbill schedule with a 12-9 win over Central Arkansas, but things were not as rosey in the nightcap as UCA won 16-6 in seven innings to take the Southland Conference baseball series.
The series loss drops NSU to 17-28 overall and 12-15 in conference giving the Demons their fourth straight league series loss after taking the first four of the season.
The Demons are in a three-way tie with Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M- Corpus Christi for seventh in league standings. NSU beat SFA two games to one but dropped the series to the Islanders 2-1. Eight teams qualify for the conference tournament which gets underway on May 23 at Texas State.
The Bears improved to 20-23 on the season and 14-13 in SLC action.
J.P. Clifton (1-0) got the win in the first game hurling 3.1 innings and allowed no runs on two hits with three hits and two walks. Joe Scanio got his third save of the season after he permitted two unearned runs and one hit.
Caleb McClanahan (4-4) took the loss and gave up seven runs in only 1.1 innings pitched.
Matt Baca led the way offensively for the Demons going with his best performance in his short career as a Demon after he went 4-for-5 with six RBI, three runs scored and a three-run home run in the second inning.
NSU started the game with a three-run opening frame and six-run second to take the lead and hold it throughout the game.
The big blow came in the second inning when Baca belted his three-run, one out blast over the left field wall to put the Demons up 6-2. The more runs followed after a UCA pitching change after a two-run single by Mitch Huckabay and a RBI sacrifice fly by Ray Frias to make it 9-2.
UCA answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and three more in the third to cut the Demon lead to 9-7, but NSU put things away with three runs in the seventh sparked by a two-run single by Baca.
The Demons weren't as lucky in the second game as the Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning off of NSU starter Colin Bear who took the loss and dropped his record to 3-7 on the season.
NSU pulled to within 5-4 after a two-run single by Nick Hinojos in the fifth inning.
UCA came back with five runs in the bottom of the frame, scoring on five hits, off of Bear and Carson Goldsmith. And in the sixth, the Bears plated six more runs on three hits, five walks and two hit batters from five Demon arms - Goldsmith, A.J. Funk, Zach Winchester, Jacob Roark and Jamie Bittle.
Andy Steinmetz (4-2) took the win on one perfect inning. UCA starter Ryan Angus started the game and allowed four runs in 4.2 innings.
Hinojos and Bear each had two RBI for the Demons as Hinojos went 1-for-4 and Bear had one hit in two tries.
Will Watson had two hits in three at-bats scoring one run, and Ray Frias had a two-hit ball game in four attempts and scored two runs.
NSU returns to action for a home match-up against Louisiana Tech at 6:30 on Wednesday and then will hit the road again on Friday to take on Nicholls State in league action.