ULM Slugs its Way to Series Win over Middle Tennessee
MONROE, La. - The ULM baseball team tallied 13 runs for the second consecutive day, outlasting Middle Tennessee 13-7 Sunday afternoon at Warhawk Field. The Warhawks downed the Blue Raiders 2-1 in the three-game weekend set.
Caleb Clowers recorded the first hit of the game in the bottom of the first inning, chipping a Texas Leaguer into center field off of Middle Tennessee starter Jonathan Sisco (5-3) with one out. Jeremy Sy smashed the first pitch he saw over the wall in right center field for his third home run of 2012, vaulting ULM (19-21, 7-11 SBC) in front 2-0.
The Blue Raiders (23-18, 10-8 SBC) responded in the top of the second inning, as Hank LaRue laced a one-out double into the right field corner, plating Johnny Thomas all the way from first base to pull within one run (2-1). Ryan Ford kept the momentum rolling by sending the first pitch he saw from Cale Wine (5-4) into right field, giving Middle Tennessee runners at the corners with one man away. Judd Edwards made a nice stab on a sharp grounder hit by Ryan Stephens and the Warhawks caught LaRue in a rundown between third base and home plate for the frame's second out. Dain McNabb lined out to Joey Rapp at first base to end the inning and strand two runners on base.
Edwards skied a high fly ball out to center field in the bottom of the second inning, but Stephens was unable to complete the catch, allowing Edwards to cruise into third base on the fielding error. A Corben Green groundout to first baseman Ethan Williams brought Edwards across from third to give ULM a 3-1 lead.
Les Aulds worked a 3-2 walk against Sisco to begin the bottom of the third inning, and advanced to third base on a ripped double to the gap in right center field off the bat of Clowers. Sy worked a full-count walk against reliever Nick Montgomery to bring Rapp to the plate with the bags full of Warhawks. Rapp sent a 0-1 pitch back up the box to score Aulds and Clowers, making the score 5-1.
Clowers led all ULM hitters with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, adding an RBI and two runs scored. Green scored all three times he reached base and added an RBI of his own, while Sy chipped in two hits, three RBIs and scored twice.
Wine put the finishing touches on his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the top of fourth, as Trent Miller, Thomas and LaRue all grounded out to ULM fielders to retire the side.
Wine allowed two earned runs on four hits, walking three and striking out five in six full innings pitched to earn the win.
Sy flicked a two-out single into center field against Nathan Foriest in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating Green from third base for the seventh Warhawk run of the contest (7-1).
Middle Tennessee loaded the bases in the top of the fifth inning, as Stephens and Guidry drew full-count walks around a Jordan Rorex single. Wine then struck Williams out swinging on a nice breaking pitch to end the Blue Raider threat and escape the inning.
The Warhawks added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, as Clowers sent a 1-0 pitch from Foriest through the right side to score Green from third base and up the ULM advantage to 8-1.
The Blue Raiders would not go away, touching up reliever Kendall Thamm for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to close the deficit to 8-4. Fraser Adams retired the next two batters in order, with Middle Tennessee adding a run on a sacrifice fly by Miller (8-5). LaRue rapped an opposite field single to left field off of Wil Browning, scoring Guidry to pull within two at 8-6.
Edwards grooved a sharp liner back up the middle of the diamond in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Rapp from second base to give ULM a three-run cushion (9-6). Green was hit by a pitch to load the bases by Middle Tennessee's Joey McClung with one out, setting up a two-run single into left field off the bat of Logan Fiasco (11-6). A McClung wild pitch brought Green in from third to push the lead back to six runs (12-6).
LaRue paced Middle Tennessee with a three-hit afternoon and three RBIs, while Rorex added two hits, an RBI and one run scored. Sisco yielded five runs (four earned) in two innings of work to take the loss.
ULM travels to Northwestern State for a non-conference midweek game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Natchitoches.