Thursday night action in the Sun Belt
The eight seeds are set for the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament beginning Wednesday in Monroe.
Losses by Louisiana-Monroe and Middle Tennessee eliminated both schools last night. Here’s a recap from around the league.
LOUISIANA 6, LOUISIANA-MONROE 2
In Monroe, Mike Petello knocked in three runs and Taylor Hubbell and Joey Satriano combined on a six hitter to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns past the Warhawks 6-2.
ULM took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an infield single and Jeremy Hammond’s two run homer into a tailwind in left. But that would be all Hubbell would allow as he gave up only three hits in his final six innings of work. Satriano struck out four in his two inning relief appearance.
Petello had a run scoring single in the third which tied the game, and he put the icing on a four run fourth inning with a two run double for the final margin.
Louisiana (30-23, 17-11) can clinch the #3 seed in the tournament with one more win in the series. ULM (23-30, 8-20), saw its slim hopes to make the tournament end with the loss
SOUTH ALABAMA 9, TROY 8
Brad Hook’s walkoff home run leading off the ninth gave South Alabama a 9-8 win over Troy in Mobile last night.
The Jaguars (29-24, 15-13) hammered Troy ace Tyler Ray for ten hits and seven earned runs in 6.1 innings and took an 8-4 lead. But Troy got two runs in the seventh and tied it with two in the ninth to prevent Ray’s first loss of the season.
Hook’s blast came off reliever Nathan Hill, who suffered the loss. Hook had four hits and scored three times for the Jaguars. Taylor White also had four hits and Brent Tanner had three hits and drove in three runs.
Logan Pierce had three hits for the Trojans (38-16, 19-9) who fell out of first place with the loss. It was the first time this year that Troy lost a game started by Ray, who is 11-0 on the year.
ARKANSAS STATE 6, ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK 4
In Jonesboro, Dustin Jones sixth inning single broke a 4-4 tie and the Red Wolves (23-30-1, 11-16-1) went on to defeat UALR. The Wolves added an insurance run in the eighth on a bases loaded walk.
Andy Ferguson pitched the first six innings, allowing all four UALR runs and was credited with the win. Bradley Wallace pitched the ninth inning to earn the save. Michael Faulkner and Zach Maggio each had two hits for Arkansas State.
Travis Henke was the losing pitcher for the Trojans (20-30, 10-18), who clinched their first Sun Belt Tournament berth since 2003 despite the loss.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 9, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 7
Rudy Flores and Mike Martinez each drove in three runs as FIU continued its hot streak by beating the Owls in Miami.
FIU (36-16-1, 19-8-1) jumped on starter Ryan Garton for five runs in the first two innings, with Flores knocking in all three of his runs. FIU had fifteen hits, with five different players having two hits apiece.
Left-hander Phil Haig won his ninth game of the year, giving up only two earned runs in seven innings.
FAU (31-21, 16-12) rallied in the ninth with four runs before Jose Velasquez got the final out.
The win, coupled with Troy’s loss to South Alabama, moved the Panthers into sole possession of first place in the league.
WESTERN KENTUCKY 4, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 0
Tanner Perkins scattered seven hits through seven innings and Matt Rice broke open a scoreless game with a three run double to lead WKU to the win over Middle Tennessee, eliminating the Blue Raiders from participation in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The Blue Raiders (17-36, 8-20) got eleven hits in the game but never could push a run across.
Ryan Huck hit his seventh homer of the year for the Hilltoppers (30-22, 16-12) who moved into a fourth place tie with Florida Atlantic with the win.