An explosive fourth inning gave Lane baseball a 12-9 win over the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff at the Torii Hunter Complex in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Facing off in the non-conference game, the two teams will also play a weekend doubleheader to complete the three-game series.
Lane got veteran leadership and the new guys all stepped up. On the offensive side, the Dragons executed pretty well.
With the game tied at 1-1, Lane batted and scored four runs in the second inning behind a single, two doubles and a triple.
Christian Armstrong doubled to left field. Treviz Brown reached on an error by Pine-Bluff first baseman Nick Kreutzer moving Armstrong to third. Brown stole second, advanced to third on an throwing error by UAPB catcher Dalton Smead which scored Armstrong. The next batter, Thomas Arias doubled to left field, Brown scored, Arias advanced to third on a wild pitch, Chris O’Neal singled to right field, Arias scored. Keishaun Clark then tripled to score O’Neal for a 5-1 lead.
Lane would add two runs in the top of the third to take a 7-1 lead. The big blow in the inning, Armstrong singled to right field, Arias walked, Zach Elias tripled to right field and both Armstrong and Arias scored.
UAPB would cut the lead to 7-2. Lane would add a run in the top of the fifth inning and three runs in the seventh. But the Golden Lions struck back trying to mount a comeback scoring three in the bottom of the fourth inning, two in the fifth and sixth, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth as it was not enough to overcome the 12-9 defeat.
At the plate for Lane, O’Neal was 2 for 6 with one run batted in, Clark went 2 for 4 with 2 runs driven home. Armstrong was 2 for 3 with a double, Arias 3 for 3 with a double and 2 RBIs. Elias was 2 for 5 with a triple and 3 runs driven in and Jordan Smith had 2 RBIs.
On the mound, Joel Ballard (2-0) picked up the win. Elias came on in relief in the fifth and closed out the game striking out four batters in 5.0 innings of work.
For UAPB, the bright spot was Humberto Maldonado who went 5 for 6 with two doubles and Jarficur Parker Who was 2 for 5 with 2 runs driven in. Antoine Luster (0-1) took the loss in 4.0 innings pitched, allowed eight hits, eight runs, five earned.