ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – The No. 4-ranked Southern Arkansas baseball team completed their three-game series sweep over Henderson State as they took both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader by scores of 11-4 and 4-1, respectively.
As they did in the series-opener on Friday, the Muleriders (19-4, 9-3 GAC) would have to come from behind in the first game on Saturday as the Reddies (5-16, 4-8 GAC) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after they plated three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
The Muleriders’ comeback effort would begin in earnest in the top of the fourth inning as they scored eight runs on just three hits. While the hit total was low that inning, the Muleriders would bat around and send 12 men to the plate as they benefited from four walks and two hit-by-pitches. The three hits that the Muleriders tallied in the fourth all drove in a run. An inning later, the Muleriders would score another run without the benefit of a hit as Chase Harvey was hit by a pitch and later came around to score on a wild pitch.
All nine of those runs over the fourth and fifth innings were in support of SAU starter Timothy Buchanan. Buchanan, who was touched up slightly for three runs on four hits over the first three innings, would go on to pick up his fifth win of the season as he allowed just one more run before leaving the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Jared Webb would come on in relief of Buchanan in that seventh inning and go on to pitch the final 2.2 innings of the game, allowing just one hit, walking one, and striking out one.
The Muleriders would add two more runs in the top of the ninth inning to bring the game to its eventual final of 11-4.
In the nightcap, the Muleriders would get a solid pitching performance from Janson Carr as he worked six innings, scattering six hits, walking three, striking out three, and allowing one earned run. The earned run on Carr (3-0) is the first he has surrendered in 20.1 innings pitched this season.
The Muleriders would give Carr four runs of support as they plated single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. The run in the third came on a RBI single by Tyler Cameron, the run in the fourth on a double by Carver Rademacher, the run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Cameron, and the run in the sixth on a sacrifice bunt by Korey Keith.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Muleriders held a three-run lead, 4-1, and so they turned to the bullpen for closer Preston Gray. Gray would make quick work of the Reddies in the final half as he did not allow a hit and struck out a pair, earning his fifth save of the year.
The Muleriders will now prepare for a mid-week game against rival and perennial national power, Delta State, on Tuesday, March 11. First-pitch in the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Cleveland, Miss.
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