UNA drops a pair to nationally ranked West Florida

The University of North Alabama carried leads into the sixth inning of both games against sixth ranked West Florida but couldn't hold on as the Argonauts downed the Lions 8-6 and 3-2 in a Gulf South Conference double-header.

With the loss the Lions fall to 13-13 overall and 5-6 in GSC play. West Florida is 23-5 overall and 8-3 in the GSC. UNA has played eight of its last 11 games against teams ranked in the Top 9 in the NCAA Division II.

In the opening game UNA starter Chad Boughner pitched four shutout innings and UNA took a 1-0 lead before the game was stopped for more than a hour due to lightning. The Lions' run came in the third when Bradley Noland reached on an error and scored on a Jake Ward RBI single. When the game was resumed, Eric Wilson came on to pitch for the Lions and shutout UWF in the fifth, giving UNA a chance to extend its lead to 2-0. Josh Doyle singled, advanced to third on a Dyland Boston double and scored on an Andrew Almon single.

Wilson was then tagged for six runs by the Argonauts in the sixth as UNA fell behind 6-2. The Lions bats immediately responded as UNA tied the game with four runs in the top of the seventh. The Lions got singles from Noland, Thomas Lundborg and Ward to load the bases. a Josh Doyle single drove in two runs and Ward scored on an error and Doyle later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 6-6.

West Florida got two runs in the bottom of the eighth off Daymon Eriksen (1-3) for the win.

In the nightcap, UNA starter Michael Watkins (2-4) held a 2-1 lead in the sixth before the Argonauts tied the game. UWF then added a run in the bottom of the seventh for the win. Watkins allowed just seven hits in six and 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight.

West Florida got a run in the first but UNA answered with two of its own in the second. Dylan Boston singled and Matthew Tittle ripped a two-run homer to make it 2-1. The Argonauts got a two-out walk in the sixth that eventually led to a run after a stolen base, a single and a throwing error. In the seventh, UWF again had two outs and no one on when Drew Prichard hit a walk-off home run for the win.

The Lions and Argonauts play the final game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.