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Lion Baseball Comes Up Short Against Montevallo

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Florence, Ala. – The University of North Alabama rallied from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game in the eighth but Montevallo got a run in the ninth to pull out a 7-6 win over the Lions at Mike Lane Field.

UNA took a 1-0 lead in the fifth, only to have Montevallo go up 2-1 in the top of the sixth. The Falcons then had a four-run seventh to push their advantage to 6-1. UNA got three in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie the game, but Montevallo scored the winning run on an errant throw in the ninth for the win.

With the loss UNA falls to 13-11 overall. Montevallo improved to 20-9.

North Alabama got its first run in the fifth inning when Matthew Tittle singled and scored on a Bradley Noland double. Montevallo went up 2-1 on a two-run homer by Jackson Slaid off UNA starter Brantley Claunch. Claunch allowed just two runs on four hits in five and 2/3 innings. Riley Sanderson gave up one hit but got the Lions out of the sixth. Jacob Westerhouse retired the first batter in the seventh but then walked two batters and hit one to load the bases. Eric Wilson came on but gave up two RBI singles and a sacrifcie fly as Montevallo extended its lead to 6-1.

In the bottom of the seventh Tittle walked and scored on another Noland double. Thomas Lundborg then singled in Noland to make it 6-3. A Josh Doyle single drove in Lundborg to cut the Falcons lead to two. In the eighth, Dylan Boston ledoff with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Tittle single. The Lions then scored the tying run on back-to-back Montevallo errors.

Montevallo scored the winning run in the top off the ninth. Jackson Slaid doubled and Andrew Hill followed with a single to right. Slaid stopped at third, but when the Lions threw behind him he broke for the plate and scored when the ensuing throw hit him in the back.

Daymon Eriksen (1-2) took the loss for UNA, allowing one run on two hits over two innings.

Alex Guillford (5-0) got the win for Montevallo, pitching two innings of relief.

UNA out-hit Montevallo 11 to nine.

It may not be the most glamorous of records, but with seven putouts in the University of North Alabama’s Wednesday game against Montevallo, UNA first baseman Josh Cyr of Huntsville has now recorded more putouts than any player in the 40-year history of the Gulf South Conference.

A four-year starter for the Lions, Cyr now has 1,245 career putouts, surpassing the mark of 1,241 by Dave Banks of Troy from 1982-85.

Not only did Cyr break a record that has stood for 28 years but he did it with half a season still ahead of him.

“First of all, for him to be able to come into the program and start at first base as a freshmen was something that hasn’t happened often here,” UNA head baseball coach Mike Keehn said. “And for him to have set the putout record that has stood that long shows the work he has done defensively over his career. As a freshman we would often pull him late in a game for a better defensive first baseman. The last two years he has been nominated for a Golden Glove at his position and this past summer he received an award as the top defensive player in the Northwoods League.”

“He has really saved us with his ability to pick,” Keehn said. “He has bailed us out plenty of times with his defensive play at first. He has worked really hard at it and that kind of work can be a grind. But he comes to play every day and these records are a tribute to that.”

Cyr also holds UNA records for most consecutive games played (184), most consecutive games starter (156), total career fielding chances (1,360) and most times hit by pitch (63).

North Alabama is 13-11 entering this weekend’s series at West Florida. 

Courtesy UNA Media Relations