Sophomore Andrew Hohn threw 4.0 shutout frames out of the bullpen to help UALR rally for a 7-6 victory over FIU (24-15, 10-7 Sun Belt) on Sunday, in the completion of a game which was halted on Saturday afternoon due to rain. UALR (19-19, 6-11) trailed 5-2 when play was stopped in the bottom of the fourth on Saturday, but fought back to take its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh and rode a stellar outing from its bullpen to the win.
Hohn (1-2) took the mound in the bottom of the fifth trailing 5-4 with the bases loaded and one out, and managed to limit FIU to just one run off a sacrifice fly. The North Little Rock, Ark.-native threw scoreless frames in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and combined with freshman Cameron Allen and junior Marshall Hamrick to finish off the win in the ninth.
Hohn recorded the first out in the ninth before giving way to Allen, who struck out Pablo Bermudez for out number two. UALR called on Hamrick for a left-lefty matchup with the tying run on second. Hamrick issued a walk to the first batter he faced, but induced a game-ending fly out from Jabari Henry to record his first save of the year.
UALR outhit the Golden Panthers 10-to-8 in the win, led by 3-for-5 performances from sophomore Ben Crumpton and junior Myles Parma. Junior Chris Burk drove in the game-winning run in the top of the seventh when he plated junior Blake Johnson with a RBI single to center.
FIU reliever Eddy Pidermann (7-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing three hits and a run over 1.1 innings. Starter Michael Ellis held the Trojans to four hits and two runs (one earned) with six strikeouts over 4.0 innings, but did not return to the game when play resumed on Sunday. Adam Kirsch went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI in the loss, and hit two home runs over the first four innings on Saturday to help FIU to its 5-2 lead.
UALR starter Blake Huffman worked his way out of a jam in the first inning after Bermudez (single) and Nathan Burns (walk) reached base to open the game. With two runners on and no outs, Huffman struck out Henry and the Trojans were able to turn a double play as Bermudez was caught stealing at third. Huffman then struck out Mike Martinez to end the inning and keep FIU off the scoreboard.
The rain started to pick up in the bottom of the second after the Trojans went down in-order in the top half. Huffman retired the first batter of the inning, but Kirsch followed a walk by Oscar Aguirre with a two-run homer to deep left to stake the Golden Panthers to a 2-0 lead.
UALR got on the board in the top of the third after senior Cameron Bentley stretched a single to shallow left into a double with some aggressive base running. Bentley came around to score as Ellis was called for two balks during senior Sean Bignall's at-bat. UALR threatened to tie things up as Bignall and senior Nick Rountree drew back-to-back walks off Ellis. Bignall moved over to third with his sixth stolen base of the year, but the Trojans left runners on the corners as Ellis got a strikeout to end the inning.
The Trojans evened things up at 2-all in the top of the fourth as sophomore Tyler Cameron plated Parma with a two-out single to center. Parma reached base with a single to left and moved into scoring position on a passed ball by FIU catcher Aramis Garcia.
FIU reclaimed the lead in the bottom half compliments of a leadoff homer to left by Kirsch. The Golden Panthers went on to load the bases as Huffman hit a batter and walked two, the last of which chased him from the game. Cooper took the mound for Huffman as the rain continued to fall, and hit the first batter he faced to force across a run and give the Golden Panthers a 4-2 lead. Cooper got Martinez to line out to short for the second out, but UALR committed a throwing error on the play as the Trojans tried to turn two, allowing Bermudez to score from third. After Cooper hit his second batter of the inning to re-load the bases, the umpires elected to stop the game and tarp the field.
Cooper returned to the mound when play resumed at 10 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, and promptly got a fly out to left from Aguirre to escape the jam without any further damage. John Caballero came on to pitch for FIU in the top of the fifth and Crumpton greeted him with a double down the left field line. Crumpton moved up to second as Caballero hit Bignall with a pitch, and scored on the next at-bat off an FIU throwing error. With a runner on first and two outs, Parma plated a run with a RBI double to right, but was nailed at third base to end the inning as he tried to stretch the play into a triple.
FIU extended its lead back to two runs, 6-4, after opening the fifth inning with back-to-back walks. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt, and UALR elected to intentionally walk Bermudez to load the bases with one out. Hohn came on to pitch with the bags full and one out, and managed to hold the Golden Panthers to just one run off a sacrifice fly by Burns.
Trailing 6-4, the Trojans pushed across two runs in the top of the sixth to tie things up at 6-all. Bentley brought UALR within a run when he plated sophomore Bryson Thionnet from second with a RBI base knock. FIU caught Bentley in a rundown play as he tried to steal second, but the Kansas City, Mo.-native managed to knock the ball out of T.J. Shantz glove, and moved all the way over to third on the error. Bentley scored from third moments later as Crumpton delivered a RBI single to right off Pidermann.
UALR took its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh after Johnson drew a walk and Parma singled off the pitcher to set the table. With two men on and one out, Burk made it a 7-6 ballgame with a run-scoring single to center.
Hohn forced FIU to strand the tying run at third in the bottom of the sixth, and then pitched a scoreless frame in the seventh and eighth innings to preserve the lead. Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Aramis Garcia opened the inning with a leadoff single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Julius Gaines.
UALR called upon Allen with the tying run on second and one out, and the Wichita Falls, Texas-native struck out Bermudez (looking) for the second out. The Trojans brought on Hamrick to face Burns in a lefty-lefty matchup. Hamrick walked Burns after falling behind 2-0 in the count, but got a game-ending fly out to center from Henry to seal the win and record the save.