FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas baseball team (32-20, 13-13 SEC) used some more last at-bat heroics Saturday evening with four eighth-inning runs to pick up a series-clinching 7-3 victory over No. 20 Texas A&M (30-21,12-14) at Baum Stadium.
Coming to the plate with the score tied 3-3 in the eighth inning, Michael Bernal led off the frame with a single came around to score on an Andrew Benintendi single to shallow right field for what turned out to be the winning run. Eric Fisher added some insurance later in the inning with his team-leading eighth home run of the year to right center, a two-run blast to create the final margin of victory in a 7-3 win.
Arkansas took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning when Bobby Wernes delivered an RBI single and Benintendi followed in the third inning with a two-out run scoring base knock.
Texas A&M slowly chipped away at the lead and scored single runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings to tie the game, but Arkansas recorded its third final at-bat victory in the last four games at Baum Stadium to clinch the series win.
Chris Oliver put together another stellar outing, lasting 7.0 innings and giving up just five hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out three. Jacob Stone came on in relief and recorded the final out in the eighth inning to strand the potential go ahead runner at third base and worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his fourth win of the season.
The Razorbacks will go for their first three-game SEC series sweep of the year Sunday at 1 p.m. with Dominic Taccolini making his first collegiate start on the mound.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Opening Statement: “I’m real proud of our guys for not panicking. We did a good job putting the bat on the ball and taking the lead. Brian Anderson’s at bat was big with the inside fastball and hit it up the middle and Fisher crushed the home run and the momentum was ours and we got the win.”
On possibility of sweeping the series: “It’s big. Obviously our goal was winning game one then we wanted to win the series. We have not been in this position at all this season. Our team is warmed up and ready to go.”
On Bernal’s recent stretch: “His improvement has been pitch selection. They try to get him out different ways and he’s been good at hitting the ball in and away.”
· Arkansas picked up its third final at-bat victory in the last four games at Baum Stadium.
· The Razorbacks have won the first two games in an SEC series for the first time this season.
· Arkansas turned two double plays to bring the season total to an SEC-leading 51.
· The Razorbacks have won three consecutive conference games for the second time this season.
· Chris Oliver remains unbeaten in his last five outings against ranked opponents, posting a 4-0 record.
· Arkansas picked up its 10th victory over a ranked opponent this season and clinched its third series win over a top 25 program this year.
· The Razorbacks improved to 11-2 on the year in the all-white uniforms.
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