SFA picked up two wins over UCA in a doubleheader on Saturday.
March 29, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team picked up their first Southland Conference series win of the season, knocking off Central Arkansas 9-6 and 5-4 in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Jaycees Field.
SFA (12-13, 4-4 SLC) surrendered early runs to the Bears (14-10, 4-4 SLC) in both games, forcing the `Jacks to rally in the later innings. Junior Tyler Wiedenfeld picked up the save (3/4) in both games.
Seniors Mackenzie Handel and Brett Thornell paced SFA at the plate, each finishing 3-for-6 between the two games. Handel finished 1-for-2 with a homerun, two RBI and three runs scored, while drawing two walks, in the series opener and followed with two singles in the second game. Thornell collected a hit and a walk in the first game and closed the afternoon with a 2-for-3 performance with a double and two runs scored.
Senior Zach Marberry also turned in an impressive performance at the plate in the series opener, going 1-for-3 with a homerun, walk, three RBI and two runs scored.
Juniors Cameron Gann (4-0) and Dillon Mangham (4-2) each picked up their fourth wins of the season in their respective six-inning outings. Gann recorded eight strikeouts and surrendered just three runs (all earned) on six hits, while Mangham fanned six, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits.
SFA 9, UCA 6
In the series opener, the `Jacks fell behind 3-0 before rallying in the bottom of the second. After Handel and Marberry each walked to open the bottom frame, senior Ricardo Sanchez plated the first run of the inning for SFA with a single to left field. Junior Dan O'Neill then reached first on a bunt single to load the bases, before the `Jacks tacked on two more on a walk and double play in the infield to tie the game 3-3.
The success carried over into the team's next trip to the plate, as SFA mirrored its second frame, scoring three runs in the third, to take a 6-3 lead. In similar fashion, freshman Conner Fikes and Handel walked to open the bottom frame, before scoring one batter later on Marberry's homer to right field, his first of the season.
After surrendering one run in the top of the seventh, Handel put the `Jacks out front 8-4 with his sixth homerun of the season on a two-run shot over the right field wall.
UCA threatened in the eighth, scoring two runs to cut it to 8-6 with two runners on to prompt the call to Wiedenfeld out of the pen. The native of Omaha, Neb., inherited both runners in scoring position and a 2-0 count to the Bears' Chris Townsend. Wiedenfeld battled the count back and struck out Townsed, before getting a flyout to end the inning.
SFA added an insurance run in the bottom of the eight, before Wiedenfeld shut the door in the ninth.
SFA 5, UCA 4
In the conclusion of the doubleheader, UCA again plagued the `Jacks for three early runs through the first two innings.
SFA responded and broke up the pitcher's duel with a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth. Ramos and Brett Thornell each singled to open up the bottom frame, before sophomore Kyle Thornell walked to load the bases. Both Ramos and Brett Thornell then scored on an error in the infield, before senior Ricardo Sanchez singled up the middle to score Kyle Thornell. The `Jacks took advantage of one more miscue to plate their final run of the frame.
The Bears scored one run in the sixth on a single up the middle, but SFA added one more in the eighth before turning back to Wiedenfeld for the save.
The `Jacks will go for the series sweep on Sunday, sending senior righty Kevin Bishop to the mound opposite of a UCA pitched to be determined, in a 1:00 p.m. start.