Loveless Blasts SFA By Bears
May 24, 2012
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Bobby Loveless cranked two home runs, including a grand slam in the seventh inning, to push Stephen F. Austin to a 7-2 win over Central Arkansas in an elimination game on Thursday of the Southland Conference Tournament at Bobcat Ballpark.
The win ensures that the Lumberjacks (24-32) will play another day with their next game scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Friday against the loser between No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 3 Texas State.
Loveless finished with a career-high five RBI on the day and enjoyed his first multi-home run game of his career on the afternoon, while Hunter Dozier also homered and drove in a pair of runs on two hits. SFA finished with nine hits on the day, with four going for extra bases.
Cameron Gann moved to 7-3 with the win, navigating through five innings with a pair of strikeouts and allowing six hits before turning it over to Justin Choate and Alex Moshier out of the bullpen. Choate worked out of a difficult situation in the sixth, while Moshier tossed the final 2.2 innings to earn his ninth save of the season.
The `Jacks managed to hand Jeffery Enloe his second loss in three weeks, despite the lefty logging 7.1 innings before SFA broke the game open on Loveless' second big fly. Enloe fell to 5-8 on the year, striking out five and walking two batters while being charged with all seven runs.
Dozier opened up the SFA scoring with one out in the first inning, launching the first pitch he saw from Enloe over the left-field fence for a solo homer, his ninth long ball of the year to put the `Jacks up 1-0. Two innings later Dozier delivered again to push the lead to 2-0, this time with two outs, socking an RBI single to left field to score Bryce Cummings from second base after he had led the inning off with a single.
Loveless made it a 3-0 SFA lead with a leadoff solo home run to open the fourth inning and Gann managed to get through the first three innings unscathed before UCA began to chip away at the lead. Ethan Harris crossed with the first UCA run in the bottom of the fourth, leading off with a double off the wall and scoring two batters later on a fielder's choice by Travis Snider. The Bears had a chance to do more damage, but a heady play by Bobby Loveless at first base turned a routine grounder off the bat of Griffin Glaude into a double play after he doubled off Garrett Brown at second base on the play to end the inning.
UCA cut the lead to 3-2 an inning later when Blake Marchal singled up the middle to score Blake Roberts, and one inning later the Bears threatened to either tie the game or take the lead when they put the first two runners of the inning on base. The `Jacks then turned to Choate, who coaxed a double play from Griffin Glaude before striking out Roberts with the tying run on third base.
After SFA left a runner on base in the top of the seventh, UCA mounted their final threat of the game when Logan Moon singled and reached second on a sacrifice bunt against Choate. But Alex Moshier then entered and picked up where he left off against UCA two weeks ago, getting Harris and Willson to soft fly balls to keep SFA up 3-2.
Zach Benson then started SFA's rally in the top of the eighth with a one-out double into the left-field corner, which was followed by an intentional walk to Dozier with a base open. Enloe then walked Jarid Scarafiotti on four pitches to load the sacks for Loveless, who launched a 1-0 pitch over the scoreboard in right field for a grand slam that gave SFA a 7-2 cushion. It was the first grand slam for an SFA hitter in SLC Tournament play since Kevin Crabtree did so in an 11-3, second-round win over McNeese State in 2007.
Moshier then responded by facing just six batters in the final two frames to close out the extended save and keep SFA's tournament hopes alive.
Choate will get the ball for the `Jacks on Friday at noon against either the Bobcats or Lions. Should SFA get past that game, they would then play again at 7:00 p.m.