So. Arkansas's Yumezo Densaki strikes out seven in seven shutout innings
MAGNOLIA, Ark. -- Southern Arkansas junior right-hander Yumezo Densaki bewildered the batting lineup of No. 24 Arkansas-Monticello on Wednesday afternoon as he allowed just two hits and struck out seven in seven shutout innings of work. Densaki's masterful performance resulted in him getting his second win of the season as the No. 4-ranked Muleriders would go on to beat the Boll Weevils by a score of 7-4.
Densaki (2-1) began his afternoon on the mound with a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first inning. In the second inning, the Boll Weevils (14-5) would pick up a one-out single to right field off of Densaki, but a strike-em-out, throw-em-out in the next at-bat got Densaki and the Muleriders (16-4) out of the inning.
After working around a pair of two-out walks in the third inning, Densaki would be perfect during the next three innings as he kept the Boll Weevils off the bases, retiring 10 in a row to get himself to the seventh inning. Densaki would add two more to that retired-batters streak in the seventh before he gave up a two-out single to left field.
The Muleriders would start to give Densaki run support in the bottom of the fourth as they scored twice to take a 2-0 lead. The first of those runs came on a leadoff homerun to left field off of the bat of Carver Rademacher. The second came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Korey Keith, scoring Justin Buchanan, who tripled in the previous at-bat.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Muleriders added two more runs as Rademacher picked up another RBI as he singled to right field to drive in William Townsend for the first run. The second run came in the next at-bat as Ryan Dardenne hit a sacrifice fly out to centerfield, scoring Tyler Cameron.
Three more runs would come across in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Muleriders a 7-0 lead. In that inning, Cameron picked up a RBI on a sacrifice fly out to centerfield, but a throwing error by the Boll Weevils' shortstop on that play allowed McCurdy to score as well. A RBI single up the middle by Jon Phillips accounted for the third run that inning.
Those three runs in the sixth would prove to be crucial as the Boll Weevils would put together their biggest threat in the top of the ninth. An inning prior, the Boll Weevils were turned away in order as Colton Strother came on in relief of Densaki and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
In the top of the ninth, Cory Roper looked to pick up the final three outs of the game as he came on in relief of Strother.
The first batter would reach base against Roper on a bloop-single to centerfield. A groundout to third base moved that leadoff hitter to second base with one out. A wild pitch during the next at-bat moved him to third base. Consecutive full-count walks would follow as the Boll Weevils loaded the bases. A single through the right-side of the infield by UAM's Corey Wood scored the first run of the game for the Boll Weevils. A groundball ball back to Roper in the next at-bat, only resulted in one out as his only play was to first base for the second out, allowing a run to score as well.
Now with runners on second and third and trailing 7-2, the Boll Weevils made the game even closer as both runners were driven in by Mitchell Dornblut on a single to left field making it a 7-4 game. With a possible save now in order, the Muleriders turned to the bullpen for Preston Gray to pick up the final out. Gray would have to work for his fourth save of the season as the Boll Weevils would get consecutive singles to load the bases before a grounder to Rademacher at first base ended the game.