Bears' comeback against Highlanders falls short this time

ABILENE, Texas — A day after coming back from a 7-0 deficit to beat New Jersey Institute of Technology 17-7, the University of Central Arkansas Bears’ Sunday comeback fell short in extra innings in a 7-5, 10-inning, loss to the Highlanders at Abilene Christian’s Crutcher Scott Field.

The Bears (3-4) faced a 5-2 deficit through seven innings but scored twice in the eighth inning and again in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. In the eighth, UCA drew four walks, one to Nate Ferrell with the bases loaded. Doug Votolato added a sacrifice fly to get the Bears within 5-4.

Conway’s Tyler Langley hit a one-out triple to center in the ninth and Chris Townsend hit one back up the middle off the NJIT pitcher to score Langley and tie it at 5-5. Junior Chris Caudle came on to pitch the 10th for UCA and allowed consecutive singles to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners, with the lead runner scoring on a wild pitch and the second coming in on an RBI single.

Votolato, a senior outfielder, had two of UCA’s seven hits, while Ferrell had two RBI. UCA starter Connor Gilmore got a no-decision, going 5.2 innings, allowing five hits, walking five and striking out three. Caudle was tagged with the loss.

UCA hosts Eastern Illinois in a four-game series this weekend at Bear Stadium, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

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