MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Despite getting just nine hits in a non-conference double-header with Arkansas Tech, the University of North Alabama baseball team swept the Wonder Boys Tuesday at USA Stadium as the Lions won the opener 3-1 and the nightcap 3-2 in 11 innings.
UNA, ranked 18th nationally in the NCAA Division II, had split its last five straight double-headers before recording the sweep. The Lions are 18-7 overall, while Arkansas Tech is 13-11.
North Alabama junior pitcher Andrew Hillis (1-0) made quick work of the Wonder Boys in the opener, allowing just two hits and five base runners. Making just his third appearance of the season, Hillis allowed only a solo home run in the third inning and a single in the fifth in keeping the second best hitting team in the Gulf South Conference in check.
The Lions took a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Dale Ricketts walked and scored on a Josh Carpenter double. Carpenter then scored on a single by Drew Parker. Josh Riley's solo homer in the third cut the Lions lead to 2-1 but UNA got the run back in the bottom of the frame when Michael Schmidt doubled and later scored on a wild pitch.
Hillis got the complete-game win, striking out six batters and walking three over seven innings. Nick Wilson (0-1) took the loss for Arkansas Tech, allowing three runs on three hits over two and 1/3 innings. Tyler Dowse pitched three and 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings of relief, striking out six.
UNA had just three hits in the game.
In the nightcap, Arkansas Tech took the early lead with a run in the third inning and another on the fifth.
ATU's Blake Evans made the most of his first start of the season, allowing just one single to the Lions in five and 2/3 innings of work. He did walk four batters and hit three and left the game in the sixth with the bases loaded. Aaron Luchterhand came on in relief and walked Jared Mothershed to force in Josh Cyr with UNA's only run. He then got Carpenter to ground-out to end the threat.
UNA threatened again in the top of the seventh as Schmidt walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third when Blake Stroth reached on a fielder's choice and scored the tying run on a base-hit to center by Jake Sloan to make it 2-2. J.P. LaMunyon then reached on an infield single but Stroth was thrown at home trying to score on the play.
UNA reliever Casey Jones hit one batter and gave up a single in the bottom of the seventh but got Colt Loehrs to ground-out to end the inning.
Tech got a lead-off walk in the bottom of the eighth and followed with an infield single but LaMunyon cut down a runner at the plate and the game went to the ninth.
UNA took its first lead of the game in the top of the eleventh when Mothershed singled and went to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Carpenter doubled him in to make it 3-2.
Casey Jones, who pitched six innings in relief, allowed two base-runners in the bottom of the 11th but earned his second win of the season to improve to 2-2. He scattered five hits, walked one and struckout two.
North Alabama has played eight of its last 11 games on the road and will play a three-game Gulf South Conference series on the road at Valdosta State Saturday and Sunday.