Bears battle but fall at No. 5 Vandy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Central Arkansas Bears put up a solid fight Tuesday against No. 5 Vanderbilt before dropping a 5-2 decision at Hawkins Field.

The Bears struck out 13 times against Vandy’s ace pitching staff, but also left 10 runners on base which could have changed the outcome. UCA scored single runs in the both the sixth and eighth innings but could not keep pace with the Commodores (6-2).

Trey Harris reached on a fielder’s choice to third base to bring in Connor Flagg in the sixth. In the eighth, UCA loaded the bases but managed just one run on Drew Sturgeon’s bases-loaded walk that scored A.J. Mendolia.

The Bears finished with five hits, two by junior right fielder Kolby Johnson. UCA used four pitchers, with starter Andrew Shoultz taking the loss. He went 3.0 innings and allowed just one earned run and struck out five. Vanderbilt starter Devin Futrell improved to 2-0 in a bullpen day for the Commodores.

UCA returns home this weekend to host South Dakota State in a four-game series at Bear Stadium, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.