WEEVILS ROLL PAST RANGERS TO GAC SEMIFINALS
ALVA, Okla. – The offense shines as the University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team rolls to a first round win over Northwestern Oklahoma State in the Great American Conference tournament Friday. The Weevils put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard in five separate innings to cruise to a 16-5 win and advance to the semifinals.
UAM improved to 22-17 overall on the season while NWOSU falls to 26-15.
The fifth-seeded Weevils got on the board early and often starting with a three-run top of the first. Jordan Johnson and Aaron Gaela each picked up RBI-singles before Hudson Hopkins capped the early run production with a sacrifice fly to put UAM up 3-0 heading to the bottom of the first.
Lefty Mason Philley got the start on the mound for UAM as the Rangers responded in the bottom of the frame cutting the into the lead with a two-run home run.
NWOSU struck again against Philley in the second taking the lead with another two-run blast. A two-out double followed the homer which prompted UAM to make a change on the bump bringing in River Hunt who promptly closed the frame with a punch out.
The offense picked back up for the Weevils in the third to retake the lead as Grant Shepherd launched a two-run bomb before Cole Muckleroy made it back-to-back blast with a solo home run to put UAM up 6-4.
Hunt gave up a solo blast in the bottom of the third that made it a one run game, but it was all Weevils after that.
UAM tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth as Gaela and Hudson Hopkins picked up back-to-back RBI singles.
Two innings later Gaela expanded the Weevils’ lead again smashing a two-run blast over the left field fence putting UAM up 11-5.
The Weevils put the game away in the eighth posting a five-run frame that featured a two-run single by Shepherd which was promptly followed by a three-run shot by Muckleroy.
Hunt continued to role on the mound holding NWOSU scoreless over his final five innings before turning it over to Jared Roberts to close out the contest. Roberts gave up a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the ninth, but turned around to retire the next three hitters and secure the first round victory for the Weevils 16-5.
All nine starters registered at least one hit for UAM with Johnson and Gaela leading the way with four apiece. Gaela along with Shepherd and Muckleroy each added four RBI. Those three each added a long ball as well with Muckleroy launching two in the contest.
Hunt picked up the win to move to 9-0 on the season after dealing 6.1 in out of the bullpen. The Sherwood, Arkansas product allowed just one run on one hit while adding six strikeouts.
Philley worked 1.2 in the start giving up four runs on six hits and striking out two.
Roberts closed the game out with a scoreless frame in the ninth that included one punch out.
Connor Gibson (L, 1-2) took the loss surrendering three runs on two hits in his only inning of work in relief of the starter.
The Weevils will face Arkansas Tech in the semifinals of the GAC tournament Monday, May 17. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Clyde Berry Field at Henderson State.