March 14, 2010
CONWAY, Ark. -
The Lumberjacks completed a league-opening sweep of Central Arkansas on Sunday in emphatic fashion, run-ruling the Bears 17-2 in seven innings in the series finale at Bear Stadium.
SFA (11-4, 3-0 SLC) jumped on the Bears (4-11, 0-3 SLC) early with 12 runs in the first three innings, propelled by home runs from Michael Haynes, Darren Crabtree and Ryan Priest.
The sweep makes up for last year's series in Nacogdoches when UCA came in and swept the `Jacks in the league opener. The `Jacks have now won four in a row and are now 5-1 in their only two series' in Conway. It was also the first run-rule victory for SFA since doing so against Nicholls in consecutive games last season.
The 37 runs scored over the last two game is the most SFA has ever scored in consecutive outings while the 39 runs over the three-game series is the most ever scored by a Lumberjack team in a conference series.
With all the offense it was easy to overlook starting pitcher Justin Braddock, but the junior finished with a complete-game, three-hitter with three strikeouts and just two unearned runs allowed for his third win of the year. He did, however, issue a walk which stopped his streak at 21.2 innings on the year without giving out a free pass.
Five `Jack hitters finished with multiple hits led by Michael Haynes' 3-for-4 afternoon with a home run and three runs scored. Garrett Smith finished with three runs scored as well from his leadoff spot, while Ryan Priest had a home run and three RBI as well. Darren Crabtree continued his hot play with three runs driven in, including a two-run homer in the second inning.
Three UCA pitchers saw the bump on the afternoon with Dustin Ward taking the loss after allowing 10 runs on eight hits in just two innings.
Crabtree got the `Jacks on the board with a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI ground out that scored Garrett Smith before SFA broke it open with five runs in the second inning. Priest and Patrick Gratzke started it with consecutive one-out singles before Haynes lifted a fly ball into the jet stream that carried out to right for his second home run of the year to make it 4-0. But the hits kept coming as Smith followed with a single and two hitters later Crabtree blasted his second home run in as many days over the right-field fence for a two-run shot.
The Bears got one back with an RBI single from Zack Dickson that drove in an unearned run off Braddock, but SFA responded with six more runs in its half of the third to open up a 12-1 lead. The `Jacks did their damage on just four hits, three of which went for extra bases. Jarid Scarafiotti started it off by ripping a double into the left field corner and Priest followed him with a first-pitch homer to left field. Ward followed that by issuing consecutive walks to Gratzke and Haynes before being relieved by Reece Cross. But Cross could not get it done immediately either as he proceeded to walk Smith and then give up RBI hits to both Tanner Hines and Bobby Loveless.
By then it was out of reach when SFA pushed across four more in the fifth on RBI singles from Scarafiotti and Priest, as well as Loveless' second two-run double of the day. The `Jacks added one more unearned run in the sixth for its final run of the day.
UCA managed to scrape across another unearned run with two outs in the seventh on an RBI double from Tye Throneberry, but it did not matter as Braddock managed to get all three outs in the air in the seventh to close out his complete game.
The `Jacks close out their road swing on Tuesday with a doubleheader at UTPA beginning at 3:00 p.m. Zack Taylor is scheduled to make his second start of the season in the first game of the twin bill, while Brett Higginbotham is slated to make his collegiate debut in the nightcap.