The UCA baseball team (7-8, 1-2 SLC) won two regular games on March 6 and 7 in a series against Mississippi Valley State University (0-8, 1-2 SWAC) before losing two of three of its first Southland Conference games of the season against McNeese State University (4-11,2-1 SLC).
After a successful series against the MVSU Devils, the Bears headed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to play three games against the McNeese Cowboys.
The Bears managed to keep up their momentum into the first game, a Southland Conference opener played on March 9, and won the game 6-1.The standout player for the Bears was senior pitcher Tyler Gray.
According to UCA Sports, “Gray, a right-hander from Fort Smith, tied the school record with 14 strikeouts, allowing just three hits in seven innings of work.”
McNeese didn’t score until the eighth inning. The following day, the Bears’ luck turned, losing an SLC doubleheader to McNeese.
The Bears lost the first game 5-6 and the second game 3-8. The first series was against the MVSU Devils at the Bear Stadium in Conway. The first game on March 6 was won handily by the Bears with a final score of 19-4.
The next game on the following day, also in Bear Stadium, went just as well for the Bears, ending the game with a winning score of 27-2.
With momentum carrying over from the first game, the Bears routed the Devils with 22 hits, nine walks and five hit-by-pitches, according to UCA Sports.
The Bears had taken an early lead in the first two innings and kept the lead throughout the game.
Photo by Caroline Bivens.