SAU back on the diamond after sweeping East Central

After its second straight GAC baseball sweep, Southern Arkansas (11-4, 6-0) moves out of conference play today with a trip to Clinton, MS, to battle Mississippi College in a 2 p.m. contest.

In Satuday's doubleheader at East Central in Oklahoma, 23 more runs crossed the plate for the 16th-ranked Muleriders, who topped Tigers 10-3 in the game's first contest and won the seven-inning affair 13-4 to sweep the league series. The 42 combined runs match the scoring output by the Muleriders in their last three-game series in Ada in 2022.

Southern Arkansas used quality starts from Mikel Howell and Jeremy Adorno to limit the Tigers offensively. Howell earned his second win after tossing 7.0 innings scattering five hits and three runs, while striking out a dozen. Howell punched out an ECU hitter for the final out of the first innings, struck out five-straight batters over the second and third innings, recorded one in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Adorno picked up his second victory with 5.0 innings of work tossing around five walks and a hit to fan nine. Stetson Bishop closed out the finale allowing three hits and three unearned runs over two innings. Hunter Belton and Hayden Hable combined for the final two innings of Howell's start with Hable striking out a pair.

The Muleriders combined for 24 hits and 13 walks in the wins. Of the dozen knocks, 13 went for extra bases including nine home runs with three off the bat of Will Richardson.

A two-run home run from Jaden Woolbright put Southern Arkansas on the board in the day's first game and answered a three-run first inning from the Tigers. Mikey McGinnis homered in the fourth to knot the game at 3, a Richardson single gave the Muleriders the lead in the fifth and then the long ball dominated the box score for SAU down the stretch. Carter Claerhout homered in the sixth, Brandon Nicoll left the yard in the seventh as did Richardson and then the former cranked a three-run bomb in the eighth for the final touches in taking the series.

Richardson was not yet done with the yard work as he raked a first-inning, three-run homer to send the Muleriders and Adorno out to a 3-0 advantage. Chris Lyles homered and plated Richardson in the sixth, Woolbright exited the park via the three-run variety in the sixth to cap a six-run frame and the round tripper exhibition by the Muleriders on Saturday.

Sutton, Woolbright and Trace Shoup all stole bases on Saturday. Shoup, McGinnis and Grant Roosma all doubled and Lyles recorded a triple.

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