SFA baseball drops fourth in a row

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Sam Vogel hit a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Chris Burk and Arkansas-Little Rock handed Stephen F. Austin its fourth consecutive loss, 6-5, on Tuesday at Gary Hogan Field.

Of SFA's last four losses (23-22), three have come by a single run, including Tuesday's when the 'Jacks stranded 13 men on base. It is the second win this season for UALR (22-22) over the 'Jacks, after a 10-4 win in Nacogdoches on March 26.

Once again the Lumberjacks out-hit their opponent, also for the fourth straight game, 12-11, led by a 3-for-4 night from leadoff man Zach Benson, who reached base four times and ended up just a triple short of the cycle. Junior shortstop Hunter Dozier reached base three times on a pair of walks and a solo home run in the fifth inning, his 12th of the year. Mackenzie Handel and Brett Thornell had a pair of hits as well.

Garrett Powell was the losing pitcher for SFA, falling to 2-2 on the year after allowing the winning run in the 10th on a hit and a leadoff walk. He was the fourth of four SFA pitchers to see the hill,relieving Cory Maltz who struck out four batters in 3.0 shutout innings of relief through the ninth. Blake Rhodes struck out three and allowed a run in 2.0 innings, while starter Cody Priest allowed four runs in 4.0 innings with a pair of strikeouts.

Tyler Buckley earned the win for UALR, going to 1-1 and retiring all six hitters he faced in 2.0 innings of relief. He was one of six Trojan pitchers to be used on the night.

It only took the Lumberjacks three pitches to stake itself to a 1-0 lead as Benson began his night with a solo home run to lead off the game off of UALR starter Ethan Schlechte. But the Trojans got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Ben Crumpton scored on a double-play ball off the bat of Blake Johnson.

One inning later Benson gave the lead right back to SFA with a two-out RBI double that plated Jackson Hood all the way from first base.  Priest responded by keeping UALR off the board in the bottom of the second, but was not so fortunate in the third, surrendering a three-run home run to Burk that put the Trojans up 4-2.

Dozier got one of those runs back in the fifth, leading off the inning with his 12th home run of the year to trim the lead to 4-3; however, once again the Trojans had an answer of their own, pushing the lead back to 5-3 on a solo home run from cleanup man John Clark in the bottom half of the inning.

SFA left the bases loaded in the sixth, but put together a game-tying, two-out rally in its half of the seventh. The 'Jacks had the bases empty with two down, but a single from Mackenzie Handel was followed by double from Jordan Camel, setting the stage for Jackson Hood, who singled to right field to plate a pair and tie the game at 5-5.

Maltz put up a scoreless frame in the bottom of the inning, and the SFA offense once again went to work in the top of the eighth, loading the bases on a single from Thornell and walks to Dozier and Ricardo Sanchez; however, the Trojans quickly killed the rally when Max Lamantia hit into an inning-ending double play.

SFA went down in order in the top of the ninth, and a strikeout-caught stealing double play ended UALR ninth and sent the game into extra innings; however, after the 'Jacks went quietly in the top half, a leadoff walk to Burk set up the Trojan offense. Then, after a sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position, Parma doubled to left field and brought inBurk for the walk-off win for UALR.

The 'Jacks will try and put an end to its four-game skid on Friday when it opens up a three-game series at home vs Northwestern State. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. from Jaycees Field.

- This story comes from SFA athletics.