Arkansas-Little Rock baseball team ambushes Southeast Missouri State's pitching

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Southeast Missouri State's Ryan Barnes reacts after being struck out to end the fifth inning against Arkansas-Little Rock Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau. Arkansas-Little Rock won 16-2. (Laura Simon)

Wednesday's college baseball game at Capaha Field almost was canceled after 1 1/2 innings because of back-to-back lightning delays that totaled an hour.

Play eventually resumed, although Southeast Missouri State probably wished it hadn't.

Arkansas-Little Rock romped 16-2 to avenge Tuesday's 10-7 loss and split the two-game nonconference series.

The Redhawks fell to 7-11, while the Trojans improved to 13-5 after the contest was stopped following seven innings due to a 10-run rule agreed on by both coaches.

"I guess it was just one of those days. It's baseball," Southeast senior Kenton Parmley said.

Southeast Missouri State catcher Kody Campbell reacts to umpire Greg Phillips' call during the fifth inning Wednesday at Capaha Field. (Laura Simon)

It wasn't among Southeast's better performances this season. The Redhawks committed six errors, which led to seven unearned runs, and their five pitchers combined to walk eight while hitting two batters. They also balked home a run.

"It was a long day and we didn't play very well," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said.

UALR compounded the damage by banging out 15 hits and the game's only home run. Southeast went deep into its pitching staff, including using two true freshmen. The Trojans scored in every inning but the first.

"They're a tremendous hitting team," Hogan said. "We were pretty much on fumes pitching wise, playing our fifth game in six days. Add in six errors, which is really uncharacteristic of the defense we have ... it was a tough day."

The Trojans entered the series batting .328 and ranked second nationally with nearly 10 runs per game. They were held to eight hits Tuesday but broke out Wednesday, led by a 4-for-4 performance by Cameron Bentley.

Southeast Missouri State coach Mark Hogan leaves the mound after a pitching change during the fifth inning Wednesday at Capaha Field. (Laura Simon)

"They came ready to play. They're a good hitting team," Parmley said. "They found holes, and we didn't make plays."

Southeast was limited to six hits one day after exploding for 16 hits and three home runs.

"We didn't swing the bats too well," Parmley said.

Junior college transfer left-hander Zack Smith, who had been one of Southeast's weekend starters, took the loss after making his first midweek start.

Smith (1-4) worked just the first two innings before the lengthy delay. He allowed two runs in the second inning, both unearned thanks to three errors, including one of his own.

UALR led 2-0 entering the bottom of the second inning when the first lightning strike was sighted, which prevents play from resuming for 30 minutes. The squads were set to take the field again when another bolt of lightning forced another 30-minute delay.

"It was weird, but we just have to know how to come out and play after it," Parmley said.

Southeast, which trailed 3-0 after a third-inning homer by Nick Rountree, scored both its runs in the bottom of the third. All-American senior third baseman Trenton Moses had an RBI single and senior Kody Campbell delivered a sacrifice fly.

That was about the extent of the good news for Southeast. UALR broke open things with a six-run fifth inning. The Trojans made it a blowout with a four-run sixth inning and added two more in the seventh.

"We've shown signs of playing good baseball lately, but today just wasn't a good day," Hogan said. "It was a disappointing day. We just gave them too much."

Moses, the OVC's top hitter at .468, went 1 for 2. He has reached base safely in 39 straight games dating back to last year.

Parmley, who is batting .423, went 2 for 4. He has a 25-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 34 straight contests.

Southeast returns to action Friday when it visits New Mexico State (12-8) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The squads also will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 4:05 p.m.

"We've just got to bounce back from this and get ready for our next game," Parmley said.

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