MONROE, La. - Pinch hitter Justin Stawychny's three-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a five-run final frame for the ULM baseball team in a stunning 7-6 comeback win over UALR Saturday night at Warhawk Field.
The game was the first that the Warhawks (23-24, 10-13 SBC) had won this season when trailing after eight innings. Stawychny's walk-off double was the second game-ending hit for ULM this season (Jeremy Sy, Memphis, March 6).
Caleb Clowers ripped his fourth single of the game up the middle off Bryson Thionnet (1-2) to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Sy snuck a single through the left side to move Clowers into scoring position at second base. Thionnet punched Joey Rapp out looking for a big first out, and Corben Green smacked a deep fly to left field that was caught by Sean Bignall for out number two.
Judd Edwards roped a single into right field to load the bases and keep the rally in motion. Brandon Alexander drew a 3-1 walk to score Clowers and bring ULM within three runs (6-3). A seeing-eye single to right field by Chris Dudley plated Sy and closed the gap to 6-4. Stawychny grooved the first pitch he saw into the left field corner, clearing the bases for the improbable one-run win.
Clowers finished the game a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, driving in one run and scoring another. Les Aulds added three hits and an RBI, while Dudley and Green chipped in two base hits apiece.
John Clark worked a five-pitch walk to load the bases full of Trojans (23-23, 10-13 SBC) in the top of the fifth inning, ending starter Randy Zeigler's outing. Cameron Bentley worked a full-count walk against Warhawk reliever Fraser Adams to score Blake Johnson and extend the UALR lead to 6-2.
Adams (2-1) sat UALR down in order in the top of the sixth inning, striking out Bignall and Johnson swinging to keep the Trojans off the scoreboard.
A Nick Rountree groundout to Edwards at third base capped the third straight scoreless inning for Adams in the top of the eighth. Ben Crumpton struck out looking on a 1-2 pitch to open the inning and Bignall flew out to right field before the ULM southpaw induced the ground ball out to end the frame.
Adams threw 4.1 innings of scoreless baseball, walking one and striking out four to earn his second win in as many outings.
The Trojans scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, as a Rountree sacrifice fly to left field plated Crumpton and gave UALR a 1-0 lead. Zeigler caught Bignall leading too far off the bag at first base, catching the UALR left fielder in a 1-3-4-6 rundown for the inning's final out.
Aulds and Clowers each rapped singles off Blake Huffman in the bottom of the first to give ULM two on with nobody out. A fly ball off the bat of Rapp to deep right field moved Aulds to third base. A Green line out to shortstop stranded both runners on base.
Thionnet drew a full-count walk to load the bases in the top of the second inning. Clark made the Warhawks pay, blasting a grand slam over the left field fence to extend the UALR advantage to 5-0.
Aulds roped a 3-2 single into center field in the bottom of the second inning, scoring Alexander to cut the Warhawk deficit to 5-1. Clowers laced an RBI double through the right side to plate Dudley and make it a 5-2 game.
Aulds and Clowers each grooved singles to left field to open the bottom of the fifth inning. Huffman retired Sy on strikes and forced Rapp to fly out to center. Reliever Andrew Hohn struck Green out swinging to strand both runners on base.
Johnson and Clark led UALR with two hits, and Clark added four RBIs. Thionett allowed five earned runs on five hits in the ninth inning to take the loss.
The teams meet in the rubber match Sunday at Warhawk Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.