JONESBORO, Ark. – The ULM baseball team split the opening day of the Sun Belt Conference schedule on Saturday afternoon against Arkansas State, winning the opening game 5-3 before falling 12-6 in the nightcap. The game one victory was the first Sun Belt-opening game victory for the Warhawks in exactly six years to the day since ULM started the 2011 conference campaign with a victory at UL Lafayette on March 18, 2011.
FINAL SCORES: ULM 5, Arkansas State 3
Arkansas State 9, ULM 3
LOCATION: Tomlinson Stadium / Jonesboro, Arkansas
RECORDS: ULM (5-15, 1-1 SBC)
Arkansas State (10-8, 1-1 SBC)
-In game one, ULM broke a tie ballgame in the top of the fifth on Chad Bell’s three-run, opposite field home run that gave the Warhawks a 4-1 lead at the time. The second game saw ULM tie the game at 6-6 with a single run in the top of the sixth inning before Arkansas State answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead for good.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-In game one, Arkansas State took the early lead in the third inning on a solo home run before ULM tied the game in the top of the fourth via a balk. Bell’s three-run homer in the fifth gave ULM the lead for good, while Arkansas State cut into the deficit in the sixth with another homer and a RBI ground ball before the Warhawks added the final run of the game in the seventh on Cade Harper’s RBI single.
-ULM finished with 13 hits, led by Harper’s 3-for-4 game, while Johnny DeLaCruz, Spencer Hemphill and Bell each had two hits in the win.
-Warhawk starter Josh Leone earned his first win of the season, tossing six innings and striking out four batters while giving up six hits and three runs (two earned). Anthony Herrera notched his second save of the season after finishing off the final 2 2/3 innings and allowing just one hit.
-The second game saw ULM score in the top of the first inning on Turner Francis’ RBI single before Arkansas State answered with four runs in the bottom of the first before adding to the lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second.
-The Warhawks cut into the deficit with a four-run fourth inning, with big hits coming via a two-run homer by Bell, his second of the day, and an RBI single by Reynolds. ULM tied the game in the sixth on Reynolds’ groundout before Arkansas State tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good and then the hosts added three final runs in the eighth.
-ULM finished with 11 hits in the loss, with two hits each from Francis, Hemphill and Reynolds, with both Bell and Reynolds tallying two RBI for the Warhawks.
-The Warhawks and Arkansas State close out the weekend series on Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.
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