Sophomore Chris Townsend was involved in both of the University of Central Arkansas’ runs Friday night, the final one coming on his walk-off single in the 10th inning as the Bears downed Oral Roberts 2-1 in Southland Conference action at Bear Stadium.
The Bears (23-19, 11-11), who entered the game tied with the Golden Eagles for eighth place in the Southland Conference, scored their first run of the game in the ninth when Townsend was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on Scott Zimmerle’s RBI single to left to tie it at 1-1. Senior Bryce Biggerstaff, who went the distance for the Bears, set ORU down in order in the top of the 10th before the Bears won it in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Doug Votolato drew a walk off ORU closer Jordan Romano, who leads the SLC with nine saves. He then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.Carson Dowdle walked and stole second before Townsend drilled a single to left center for the game-winner. UCA, with only seven hits, improved to 4-3 in extra-inning games this season, while ORU fell to 0-4. Biggerstaff (4-5) got the victory, allowing 10 hits but just one run, striking out six and walking none. Romano (2-4) took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits, striking out three and walking three.Townsend and Zimmerle both went 2 for 4 for the Bears, while Votolato was 1 for 2 with three walks. Game 2 of the series is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.