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Part-time Flagg steps in and gets a walk-off home run for the Bears

CONWAY — For the first time in his collegiate career, Connor Flagg rounded third base to see the faces of his teammates around home plate.

Seconds after his first career home run cleared Bear Stadium’s right fence, Flagg raced toward home plate to put the final stamp on a 7-6 walk-off win over North Alabama on Saturday.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of walk-offs in my life, [but] To be the guy that hits the home run and hits everyone there, everyone cheers and is happy for me is great,” said Flagg.

Flagg entered the game in the eighth inning with bases loaded and no outs. UCA (10-8, 2-0 ASUN) was 3-0 down after being held scoreless by North Alabama (5-12, 0-2) pitcher Jacob James.

James got North Alabama out of multiple jams in the first seven innings. He threw 123 pitches with 12 strikeouts. He came out for the eighth inning but hit UCA’s Evan Hafley in the first at-bat and then went on four pitches with AJ Mendiola before being pulled at 130 pitches.

UCA coach Nick Harlan said he wanted the left-handed catcher to give reliever Cade Barnett a different look. Flagg wanted to put the Bears ahead with a swing but flew to right field and made it 3-1.

“I was up there hunting to finish the game with both bats,” Flagg said. “Being able to make the adjustment, that’s what I tried to do. It helps that my approach was to put the ball on the right field in the air.”

UCA added five more runs in the eighth inning to go 6-3 thanks to a throwing error from North Alabama, a two-run single from Mason King and safety squeezes from Reid Bowman and Trey Harris.

Flagg, a Greenbrier junior, was a part-time player during his first three seasons at Conway. Saturday was his eighth game of the season and his 15th and 16th plate appearances.

“I can’t play all the time, and I’m always trying to come in and help the team in any way I can,” Flagg said. “I’ve worked really hard over the past three years and to see it come to fruition is just amazing.”

UCA turned to Trent Gregson for a save in the ninth inning, but he allowed 2 walks and 2 hits in a third of an inning. Brady Walker came in for the last two outs, but not before North Alabama tied 6-6.

Flagg wasted no time at the bottom of ninth place and hit UCA’s third walk-off home run this season in the first place he saw — and it only took him half the run to realize what he’d just done.

“If I’m in the zone and start swinging, I’ll pass out. I have no idea what’s going on,” Flagg said. “It felt good right away. I saw it going to the right and I had some wind helping it blow out. I think when I was about halfway there for the first time I thought, ‘This could be from here.’”

“[Connor’s] “I was in the program, he worked really hard, he had some moments, but he was a part-time player,” Harlan said. “As a coach, it’s been really fun to sit back and see someone who’s worked really hard have a moment like this and they’ll have it forever.”


5 Northwestern (La.) St., UALR 0

Four Northwestern State pitchers collectively held the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on four hits and shut out the Trojans at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, La.

After the Demons opened the scoring on a wild pitch late in the second inning, Northwestern State (12-6) extended their lead to 3-0 in the third with an RBI double from Gabe Colaianni and an RBI single from Brayden Cust . The Demons made two more runs, one in the sixth and one in the eighth, eventually handing the loss to Jackson Wells.

Nico Baumbach was the only player with multiple hits for UALR (9-7), who struck 19 times.


Louisiana-Lafayette 13, State of Arkansas 5

Louisiana-Lafayette responded to Arkansas State—and then some—as the Ragin’ Cajuns dubbed themselves to a series win Saturday at Russo Park in Lafayette, La.

The Red Wolves struggled at the top of the third, taking a 4-0 lead with RBI doubles from Blake Burris and Kody Darcy. But after starter Hunter Draper faced the minimum in two innings, Louisiana-Lafayette (13-6, 2-0 Sun Belt Conference) tagged him for four runs, highlighted by a two-run home run by Max Marusak.

ASU (7-10, 0-2) would not score again until Hunter Thomas’ solo homer in the ninth, by which time the Ragin’ Cajuns had amassed nine more runs to lead 13-4. Five different players had multi-hit outings for the Cajuns, led by shortstop Kyle DeBarge’s 3-for-5 22-run tag.



Daylen Adderley’s three-pointer in the first inning gave Texas Southern a second straight win over the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex in Pine Bluff on Saturday.

Adderley, Gabriel Vasquez and Alexander Olivo each scored three for the Tigers (16-6, 2-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) who took an 8-0 lead and went on to a series win. Vasquez also led Texas Southern with three hits.

Jakobi Jackson had three goals to lead UAPB (7-10, 0-2). Jacob Riordan received the loss after giving up 11 runs with 8 hits in 4 innings.