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Alvarez powers Indians in win over Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Tim Alvarez looked more like Tim Alvarez on Tuesday.
The Southeast Missouri State University pitcher suffered his first loss of the season Sunday in a relief appearance against Eastern Illinois, but returned to his normal role of starter Tuesday night and dominated Arkansas with a complete-game performance in the Indians' 5-1 win.
The Indians, who have already clinched the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship, are 29-16. The Razorbacks fell to 28-22. The squads will wrap up their two-game series at 5 p.m. today.
"We played a sparkling game tonight and we're just really playing well right now," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "Every win right now is a great win. We've got 29 wins and 30 wins is always a milestone."
A big lead early
Alvarez (5-1) was given an early 5-0 lead after the Indians scored in each of the first four innings. And he more than made that stand up, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning -- when the Razorbacks scored their only run -- and finishing with a three-hitter. Alvarez struck out seven and walked three, although he did hit five batters.
"What a job Alvarez did," Hogan said. "He knows how to pitch and he has a lot of character on the mound."
The Indians had 11 hits, led by Brian Hopkins with three. Denver Stuckey, Tristen McDonald and Dave Lawson all added two hits, with Lawson scoring twice. Stuckey, Vern Hatton and Eric Hoffman each drove in runs for the Tribe.
Southeast jumped on top for good with a run in the first inning. Stuckey led off with a single, marking the eighth time in his last nine games that he has started a contest by hitting safely. Stuckey was at third with two outs when he scored on a wild pitch by losing hurler Scott Woods (5-2).
The Indians took advantage of two errors to score two unearned runs in the second inning as they grabbed a 3-0 lead.
Southeast made it 4-0 in the third as Clemente Bonilla led off with a double and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by Hatton.
In the fourth, Stuckey got an RBI infield single as the Indians moved on top 5-0. Although they would not score again, it mattered little as Alvarez did the rest.
Woods, the Arkansas earned-run average leader entering the game with a 2.45 mark, allowed four hits and four runs in three innings.
Ryan Fox had two of the Razorbacks' three hits, including a leadoff double in the seventh that ended the no-hit bid of Alvarez.
Southeast's ace pitcher, Brad Purcell, is scheduled to start today's game. Hogan plans to use him for about four or five innings and then go to Brandon Smith, the Indians' No. 2 hurler. Purcell and Smith are both 9-2 and are tied for the OVC lead in wins.