Steve East, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
CONWAY – The University of Central Arkansas Bears got a complete-game shutout from senior Tyler Gray and home runs by seniors Josh Somdecerff and Keaton Presley to sweep a non-conference doubleheader from the UT Martin Skyhawks on Saturday at Bear Stadium.
The Bears scored seven runs in the third inning and Somdecerff hit his sixth home run of the season to lead the Bears to a 10-4 victory in the opening game. Gray then dominated Game 2, striking out 12 and allowing just three hits in a complete-game 3-0 shutout.
Gray moved into second place in career strikeouts at UCA with 249, trailing only Matt Whitaker’s 269. Presley got the only hit the Bears (21-13) would need in the first inning, with a three-run blast off the scoreboard in left field, also his sixth of the season. UCA finished with just seven hits off a pair of UT Martin pitchers, with Presley the only Bear with multiple hits.
In the opener, the Bears also scored in the first inning when junior left fielder Hunter Strong doubled to right center to lead off the inning and scored on Presley’s triple down the right field line when the UTM right fielder slipped on the wet grass. UCA then put up seven runs in the third on just three hits, taking advantage of two UTM errors, two wild pitches, a passed ball and two hit by pitch. One of those hits was Somdecerff’s leadoff home run, a line drive to left field. Coby Potvin added a two-run double as UCA went up 8-1.
After the Skyhawks got a run in the top of the seventh, UCA responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Rigo Aguilar singled up the middle and William Hancock doubled to right field. Dusty Wright’s two-run single pushed UCA’s lead to 10-1. The Skyhawks, who ended up with 12 hits like the Bears, scored a single run in the eighth and two more in the ninth but junior Conner Williams got the final three outs to end it.
Somdecerff, Aguilar, Potvin and T.J. Black had two hits each, with Potvin and Wright picking up two RBI apiece. Junior Tanner Wiley (3-1) got the victory, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run and striking out four.
The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Bear Stadium.