Chance Scamardo, No. 17 Arkansas Tech take care of No. 9 Southern Ark.
MAGNOLIA, Ark. -- Chance Scamardo went 3-for-4 and made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth, while Mike Kattula went 3-for-4 and John Lassiter went 2-for-5 with three RBIs as the No. 13 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (20-8, 10-5 Great American Conference) took an 8-5 win against No. 4 Southern Arkansas (24-7, 12-6 GAC) in the series finale on Saturday.
The Wonder Boys opened scoring in the top of the first inning, using a leadoff single by Sage Boehner to set up an RBI double from Kattula, putting Tech ahead 1-0.
Meanwhile, Tech starter Mason Reynolds kept the Muleriders off the board until the fifth inning, retiring the first eight batters he faced. However, the Muleriders chased Reynolds in the fifth inning, and knocked out reliever Ethan Crocker after surrendering a walk and a hit, before the Wonder Boys turned to Jake Bell to stop the SAU rally.
The Muleriders took a 4-1 lead in the inning, but the Wonder Boys immediately responded in the top of the sixth, using an RBI single by Scamardo, and an RBI grounder combined with an error to knot the game at 4-4 going to the bottom of the seventh.
Bell shut down SAU in the sixth, and the Wonder Boys would pull ahead in the seventh, using back-to-back-to-back walks to set up a big inning. Keenan Jumper reached on a fielder's choice, driving in the go-ahead run, and a sacrifice fly by Jay Johnson and a two-run double by John Lassiter gave the Wonder Boys an 8-4 lead.
Bell kept SAU off the board in the seventh and eighth innings, before the Muleriders started a late rally against Randy Vallejo. SAU loaded the bases with one out, and cut the deficit to 8-5 on an RBI grounder. With two away, and representing the tying run, SAU pinch hitter Ryan Dardenne belted the first pitch he saw deep to left field, but Scamardo caught the final out of the game while jumping into the outfield wall, sealing the win for Arkansas Tech.
The winning pitcher for Arkansas Tech was Bell, who improved to 3-0 on the season after throwing 3.2 hitless innings in relief, walking two and fanning one.