April 1, 2007
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks were down 10-4 going into the bottom of the sixth but were able to score six runs in the next two innings to send the game into extra frames. Central Arkansas scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to take a 12-10 lead, but SFA put three runs on the board, courtesy of Zach Gardner, Noel Trevino and Chris Smith to give SFA its first extra-inning victory of the year, 13-12. For the first time since their return to the diamond, the Lumberjacks are three games over .500 with a record of 17-14 and are now 5-4 in Southland Conference play. UCA fell to 11-16 this season and have a 1-8 league mark.
The Bears hit five home runs off the Lumberjacks, including Craig Nyborg's second grand slam in as many days in the second inning to give UCA a 5-0 lead. But SFA scored three runs in the bottom of that same inning to cut the Bears' lead to two. In the fourth, UCA added four runs to take a 9-3 lead. SFA added one in the bottom of the fifth, but the Bears responded with another run in the top of the sixth to take the 10-4 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Lumberjacks began to chip away at the Bears' lead. Kevin Crabtree hit a ground ball but was safe and advanced to second on a throwing error by UCA's shortstop. Jared Pitts then hit his seventh home run of the year to right center field to cut the lead to 10-6.
After a three-up, three-down top of the seventh, Zach Gardner led off the Lumberjacks' at-bat with a walk. He advanced to second when Trevino was hit by a pitch. The pair moved over a base when Steven Hill was issued the third straight free base. Gardner scored from third on a wild pitch from UCA's Josh Charette, moving Trevino to third and Hill to second. Chris Smith then walked to load the bases once again and Trevino scored when Crabtree hit a sac fly to center field to put the Lumberjacks within two, 10-8. Pitts put a single through the right side to score Hill from third and putting runners on first and second. After a Bears' pitching change, pinch hitter Jeremy Arterburn reached first on a walk, moving Pitts to second and Smith to third. Smith scored the tying run when the base runners were allowed to advance a base on a balk from UCA's James Boone.
The score stayed tied at ten throughout the eighth and ninth innings to send the ball game into extra innings. Before Sunday, SFA was 0-3 in extra frames.
In the top of the 10th, Scott Cline led off with a double down the left field line. With one out, Nyborg hit a single up the middle, sending Cline across the plate for the 11-10 lead. Nyborg advanced to second on a failed pick off attempt from SFA pitcher Richard Folmer. Bobby Pritchett and Kevin Rawls were issued back-to-back walks to load the bases, forcing an SFA pitching change. David Miller entered the game, making his sixth appearance of the year. Miller then issued SFA's third straight walk, sending Nyborg across the plate to put the Bears' up by two, 12-10.
But the Lumberjacks were not done. Jeff Brewer led off with a single up the middle and advanced to third on a right field single from Kevin Croft. Brewer crossed the plate on an infield single from Gardner, narrowing the scoring margin to 12-11. With the Bears' shortstop moving towards third on the pitch, Trevino put a single right through the left side gap to drive in the tying run. With runners on second and third, Steven Hill was issued an intentional walk before Smith flied out to right field to score Gardner from third to give the Lumberjacks the 13-12 win.
Miller took the win for SFA after pitching a third of an inning and facing only two batters. He walked one and struck out one, moving his season record to 1-0.
Pitts led the Lumberjacks with three hits. He scored two runs and had four RBI in the outing. Trevino, Hill, and Croft each had two hits for SFA.
SFA will look to add on to its current five-game win streak Thursday against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start. The series will be played Thursday, Friday and Saturday due to Easter weekend.