NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Lumberjack starter Jared West kept Central Arkansas off the scoreboard for six innings, and his twin brother Jason loaded the bases in the ninth before fanning the final two hitters as SFA held on for a 4-2 win over the Bears on Saturday at Jaycees Field.
SFA (10-5, 2-0 SLC) made up for four errors with nine strikeouts and timely defense all afternoon, and a three-run seventh inning helped nullify an otherwise good start from UCA (8-7, 0-2 SLC) starter Ryan Angus, who took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season.
Jared West got his first weekend start of the year and extended his scoreless streak to 15 straight innings in running his record to 3-1 on the year, walking three and striking out four while allowing just four singles to the UCA offense. Colton Eubanks struck out three in a two-inning stint before giving way to Jason West in the ninth, who hit a pair of batters while loading the bases before striking out both Bryan Willson and Travis Snider to earn his first save of the year.
West only had one inning without allowing a base runner, but was given a 1-0 lead after the third inning when Crabtree slammed a single into right field to score Michael Haynes. The Bears tried to answer one inning later, loading the bases with nobody out after a single and a pair of walks; but, West got Snider to fly out to center and then Jackson Hood delivered a strike from right field on a fly ball from Blake Roberts that got Michael Pair at the plate and kept the `Jacks out in front.
Over the next three innings Angus managed to keep the `Jacks off the scoreboard, allowing just a pair of hits while the UCA offense was kept enough off balance by West, who pitched out of jams in both the fifth and the sixth before giving way to the bullpen.
After a scoreless seventh from Eubanks, the SFA offense finally added some insurance with three runs in the bottom of the inning. It all started with a leadoff double by Cummings, but the key to the inning came when UCA second baseman Doug Votolato bobbled the potential third out on a grounder from Crabtree that allowed the second run of the game to come in for SFA. Riley Huble then followed that with a double down the left-field line that plated two more and gave the `Jacks a four-run advantage with just two innings to go.
But UCA was not done, and used RBI from Jake Fuller and Greg Noble in the top of the eighth to cut the lead in half. Jason West then came on in the ninth and after getting a grounder from Kyle Prevett to start the inning, he hit Ethan Harris and Jonathan Houston around an error from Hunter Dozier, loading the bases with just one out for the cleanup spot in the UCA order. But West delivered a full-count punchout of Willson and then got Snider swinging as well to close the door and leave the potential go-ahead runs on base.
The `Jacks and Bears conclude their series on Sunday in Nacogdoches with a 1:00 p.m. start time scheduled. Justin Braddock is the scheduled starter for SFA and will be opposite Bryan Willson for the Bears.