BASEBALL: Tops fall in extras again, this time to UALR

It’s no secret that the Toppers have suffered through extra-inning woes this season. How to solve those struggles, however, remains unknown.

After the Tops scored two runs in the ninth inning to tie the game, sophomore closer Rye Davis gave up two runs in the 11th inning as Western went on to lose 8-6 to Arkansas-Little Rock.

The loss marks the Tops’ fourth straight defeat in extra innings.

“We had our chances to win,” senior second baseman Matt Payton said. “They just ended up being the team getting the hits to win.”

Western began the game by scoring three runs in the first two innings but then struggled to get any more off Trojans’ starter Golden Daniel. Daniel left the mound after pitching 7.1 innings, giving up only those three earned runs after coming into the game with an ERA of 7.01

“He’s an average college pitcher who we made look a lot better than he was,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said.

After Daniel exited the game, sophomore catcher Matt Rice and sophomore third baseman Casey Dykes drove runs home to tie the game at six. Rice was stranded at second to end the ninth inning.

The Trojans offense was consistent throughout, scoring in seven of the 11 innings. Senior Shane Cameron lasted four innings as he gave up four earned runs. Davis was put into the game in the 10th, and after retiring that side in order, he ran into trouble in the 11th, giving up three hits and two walks in the inning to earn the loss.

“We didn’t do enough to win,” Finwood said. “We aren’t playing like a team that wants to win the Sun Belt championship.”

Payton led the Toppers’ attack with three hits and two runs while Rice had two RBI.

Western won its first two extra-inning games of the year but have dropped their last four — all which have been since April 16.

The Tops bring junior Brian Edelen to the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday in the final game of the series.

Mike Stunson

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