UL-Monroe Steals First Game of Weekend Series
By Cheval John
Huntsville, TX-SHSU were ready to prove that they were capable of getting out of their slow start in the first game of a three-game series against the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on Friday night.
With a pitching duel between Bearkat starter Caleb Smith and Cane Wine, it was a matter of which team would provide the needed offense to break their opponent.
The Warhawks were able to break through thanks to a go-ahead, game-winning two-run single by Corben Green in the top of the eight inning that proved to be the difference in the Warhawk 2-1 win over the Bearkats.
Green went three for four in the game and was the reason why the Warhawks were able to pull out a win.
“Our kids came to play,” coach David Pierce said. “They had good energy. … They had a good week of preparation. We have to fight through adversity right now.”
The Bearkats (1-4) out hit the Warhawks 9-6 and had opportunities to score, they couldn’t capitalized as they left six runners on base.
Smith mixed his pitches that kept the batters off balanced. He was able to get of jams and kept the Bearkats in the game.
Wine equaled his counterpart as he went the distance and got his second win of the season.
He didn’t walked a single batter and struck out seven.
“Anytime you got a college pitcher that can throw more pitches for strikes and he’s got some velocity, it’s going to be a tough night,” Pierce said. “He’s a solid Friday night guy.”
The Warhawks had opportunities to score in the second and seventh inning.
Green led off the second inning with a single and stole second to put himself in scoring position.
But Smith got the force out and struck out Kodie Tidwell to end the threat
Green again led off the seventh with a single to right field.
He advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Tidwell ripped a single up the middle and Green tried to score from second, but center fielder Colt Atwood threw him out to keep the game scoreless.
The Warhawks tried again in the eighth inning when broke through in the eighth inning when pinch hitter Taylor Abdalla led off the eighth inning with a walk.
He was forced out at second when Logan Fiasco laid down a bunt to try to advance Abdalla to second, but Smith forced him out at second and Fiasco reached first.
It seemed as if they were going to come up short again, but things started to go their way after Fiasco advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Dalton Herrington followed with a walk and Jason Simms came in relief of Smith.
He was able to strike out Judd Edwards to get the second out, but walked Justin Stawychny to load the bases that brought up Green.
Green took advantage and lined a single to right field that scored the two important runs for the Warhawks.
“The key was he got the strike out against Edwards and the walk against Stawychny was the key because it brought Green up and he’s their hottest hitter,” Pierce said. “Green should not have come to the plate there.”
The Bearkats loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to singles by Kevin Miller, Luke Plucheck and Colt Atwood and had an opportunity to either tie the game or take the lead.
After Ryan Farney grounded into a double play and Miller scored to pull within 1, the Bearkats had an opportunity to either tie the game or take the lead.
But Anthony Azar grounded out to end the inning.
The second game of the series begins at 4 p.m.