STARKVILLE, Miss. — The University of Central Arkansas Bears won their 13th game Saturday afternoon, shaking up the college baseball world in the process.
The Bears handed No. 3-ranked Mississippi State its first defeat in 18 games, 7-5, in 10 innings.
It’s the highest-ranked opponent a UCA athletic team has ever defeated in NCAA Division I.
After the Bulldogs (17-1) scored two runs in the 10th to tie the game at 5, the Bears (13-2), who never trailed, scored twice in the 10th.
MSU pitchers hit six UCA batters.
Blake Marchal walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Forrestt Allday. Marchal scored on an error on Ethan Harris’ groundball. Jonathan Davis was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Michael Marietta, who had two hits, singled to center to drive in Harris.
In the Bulldogs’ half of the 10th, After Allday cut down one baserunner trying to advance to second on a single. With a runner on third, Ethan McKinzie struck out C.T. Bradford to end the game.
The Bears scored once in the third on a hit batsman, a single by Harris, a fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk to Scott Zimmerle.
With the score tied at 1 in the sixth, the Bears scored twice on a single by Harris, a sacrifice bunt, a double by Marietta and a single by Zimmerle.
After the Bulldogs tied it again with two in the sixth, the Bears scored in the seventh on a single by Harris, a sacrfice, a double by Marietta and a single by Zimmerle.
Mississippi State used 10 pitchers, three in one inning.
Marchal was 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Zimmerle had two hits, two RBI and three walks. Harris and Marietta had two hits each with Marietta getting two RBI.
Zach Barr was the winning pitcher in relief. McKinzie got the save.
The rubber game of the series is Sunday afternoon.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 501-505-1235. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us sports news at email@example.com)