The East Central University baseball team fell in the opening game of the three-game Great American Conference series to Southern Arkansas, 5-7.
The Tigers (20-16, 10-10 GAC) were led by senior Ariel Adut, who tallied two doubles, two RBIs and two runs. Seniors Dustin Torres and Garrett Donohoe each added two hits.
ECU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, taking a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. Torres led off with a walk and was second on sacrifice bunt from Adut. That put him in scoring position when senior Nick Spini doubled to right center.
The Muleriders (30-14, 16-9 GAC) gained the lead in the bottom of the first, 1-2.
The teams held each other scoreless for an inning before the Tigers regained the advantage, 3-2 in the third. Torres led off with a single to short and then scored on a double by Adut to right. Senior Casey Chenoweth sent Adut home with a double to left.
ECU added to their lead in the fourth, moving it to 4-2. After the first two outs, Adut hit a double and was then scored when Spini hit a ball that resulted in an error.
The Tigers kept SAU off the board until the bottom of the fifth, when the Muleriders scored three runs to take a 4-5 lead.
ECU tied the game at five in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Ty Huie started the inning with a single and was sent to second on a sacrifice bunt for Torres and then stole third. Adut earned the RBI with a round out to short.
Then before they could start the bottom of the sixth, the teams were forced to leave the field for 1:16 due to a lightening delay.
It took over an inning for either team to get things going after the delay, with SAU adding two runs in the eighth for a 5-7 advantage.
The teams will wrap up the series, Monday, April 20 starting at noon with a double-header on the schedule.