MONROE, La. – The ULM baseball team outhit visiting UT Arlington on Friday night, but the visitors used a four-run third inning that proved to be the difference as the Warhawks fell 6-4 in the teams’ Sun Belt Conference opener despite bringing the potential winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
FINAL SCORE: UTA 6, ULM 4
Location: Warhawk Field / Monroe, La.
Teams: ULM (11-27, 5-10 SBC), UT Arlington (20-17, 10-5 SBC)
-After ULM had just pulled to within one run in the bottom of the sixth inning at 4-3, UTA responded with a two-run homer by Omar Salinas, his second of the night, to give the visitors just enough breathing room. Both of Salinas’ homers in the game were two-run homers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-ULM plated the first run of the night in the bottom of the second inning when Spencer Hemphill drew a one-out walk and later scored on Blake Buckman’s two-out RBI single. UTA responded with a four-run top of the third inning, keyed by Salinas’ first two-run homer that just stayed fair down the left field line.
-The Warhawks posted single runs in both the fifth and sixth inning via hits by Cade Stone, first in the fifth on his RBI double to plate Buckman and then in the sixth when he drove in Hemphill with a two out single through the left side.
-UTA answered in the top of the seventh on Salinas’ second homer, this time coming after a leadoff walk opened the frame.
-ULM responded again in the bottom of the seventh when Chad Bell led off with a single and then scored on Spencer Hemphill’s two-out RBI double down the left field line to pull the Warhawks within two. ULM then stranded two runners in the bottom of the eighth and again in the ninth, flying out and striking out to end the night with the tying runners on first and second to close the game.
-Hemphill finished with three hits and an RBI to pace the Warhawk offense, while Stone (2 RBI), Bell, Buckman (RBI) and Anthony Herrera all had two hits as ULM tallied 13 hits as a team but left 13 men on base.
-Starter Josh Leone was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings of work with three walks and three strikeouts.
-Salinas and Will Olson each had three hits to combine for six of UTA’s 10 total hits, while UTA starter Kadon Simmons earned the win with five strikeouts over six innings of work.
-The series with UT Arlington continues a 2:00 p.m. start on Saturday afternoon before a 1:00 p.m. first pitch in Sunday’s series finale. ULM then travels to Georgia State in SBC action next weekend.