The University of Central Arkansas Bears rallied from a 7-1 fifth-inning deficit to take a 12-7 victory over the Nicholls State Colonels on Saturday at Bear Stadium.
The Bears (15-17, 9-8) scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth, then put it out of reach with seven more in the seventh to take the first two games of the three-game Southland Conference series. UCA, which had 34 hits in the first two games, piled up 18 on Saturday against four Nicholls pitchers.
Jonathan Davis, last year’s SLC Freshman of the Year, had hits in his first five at-bats Saturday and finished 5 for 6 with two doubles. He is 8 for 10 in the series with four stolen bases, five runs scored and three RBI.
The Bears, a day after putting up two five-run innings in Friday’s game, allowed five runs on four hits in the second inning on Saturday. UCA got one back in the bottom of the second on Blake Marchal’s RBI single up the midde. After the Colonels (18-17, 7-10) pushed their lead to 7-1 in the top of the fifth, UCA closed the gap to 7-5 in the bottom of the inning.
Davis led off with a double and Ethan Harris was hit by a pitch. Bryan Willson and Travis Snider had consecutive RBI singles and Garrett Brown re-loaded the bases with a base hit before pinch hitter Logan Moon brought in two runs witn a single to left center.
UCA senior Andy Steinmetz (3-2) came on in relief of starter Caleb McClanahan and did not allow a run over the final 4.2 innings and struck out six for the victory. The Bears, who have won four consecutive SLC games, padded their lead in the seventh by sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs on seven hits. Ethan Harris had a two-run single and Marchal, Davis, Forrestt Allday, Snider and Moon all added RBIs.
Steinmetz allowed two base runners in the ninth inning but then struck out Blake Bergeron for the final out.
Moon, a sophomore from Blue Springs, Mo., went 3 for 4 with three RBI off the bench, while Harris was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Snider finished 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Marchal went 2 for 5 with two RBI. Willson also had a pair of hits for the Bears.
Sunday’s series finale has been moved up to noon because of possible inclement weather.