Senior righthander Bryce Biggerstaff tied his career high with nine strikeouts Friday as the University of Central Arkansas Bears beat North Dakota 6-1 in nonconference action at Bear Stadium.
Biggerstaff allowed just one run, a home run by UND first baseman Jeff Campbell in the fourth inning, and walked one to improve to 2-1 on the young season. Senior lefthander Scott Zimmerle faced four batters in the ninth inning after going 2 for 4 with an RBI as the designated hitter.
UCA (4-4) jumped on North Dakota starter Andrew Thome for a combined three runs in the first two innings. Tyler Langley’s infield single scored Nate Ferrell in the first as UCA left the bases loaded. In the second, the Bears got two runs on two hits. Nick Rogeau had a bunt single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Chris Townsend’s ground out made it 3-0, scoring Votolato.
After UND’s home run in the top of the fourth, UCA answered in the bottom when Votolato and Townsend had consecutive walks and Zimmerle’s single up the middle brought in Votolato. The Bears put up two more in the fifth on two hits and an error. Votolato had a two-run single through the left side to make it a 6-1 game.
Biggerstaff, a senior from Sherwood, threw 105 pitches, 70 for strikes. Votolato, a senior from Flower Mound, Texas, finished 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Zimmerle was 2 for 4 with an RBI, while Wesley Hoover was 2 for 4 with a run scored and Rougeau was 3 for 3 with a run.
UCA outhit UND 11-6. Ryan Reese was the only UND player with multiple hits, going 2 for 4.
The Bears face UND again at 11 a.m. Saturday, and also face Illinois State at 5:30 on Saturday.