Cinderella lives! UALR tops FIU to win Sun Belt Title
They hadn’t qualified for the Sun Belt Tournament since 2003.
Even this year, they were 10-20 in the league, 20-32 overall.
But in 2011, UALR is in the NCAA Tournament.
The eighth-seeded Trojans finished their improbable run to the field of 64 by beating second-seed Florida International, 7-6 to win the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament in Monroe, LA.
UALR (24-32) plays its games at Gary Hogan Field at Curran-Conway Park. It’s not on campus. It’s in a city park in an undesirable part of town that, many years ago, was, according to a local newspaper, the demarcation line between two Little Rock gangs, the Bloods and the Crips.
The local paper does not cover UALR baseball. They don’t even always run the stories sent by the Sports Information Department.
UALR does not have radio broadcasts for baseball.
Their attendance is the lowest in the Sun Belt Conference.
But, on this day, the Trojans rule the Sun Belt and they’re on their way to the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans’ pitching staff, statistically the worst in the league, got it all together during the tournament, beating Troy 4-2, WKU 9-5 and Florida Atlantic 5-3 before holding the Panthers of FIU to single digits in the tournament for the first time.
FIU had lost only one game since income tax day. But UALR jumped out to an early lead, thanks to homers by Casey McCallum and Myles Parma and their pitching staff did the rest.
UALR will find out where they are headed for the NCAA tournament when the pairings are revealed Monday morning at 11:30.
But right now, they probably don’t care where they’re going.
More on the story from sunbeltsports.org, below.