The No. 25 Arkansas baseball team (5-0) broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth inning and defeated Eastern Illinois (1-5) 8-3 Saturday in front of a season-high crowd of 5,286 at Baum Stadium.
Junior left-handed pitcher Michael Gunn (1-0) earned the win after recording the final four outs on just nine pitches. Fellow junior Chris Oliver started the game and threw 6.0 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out four, and was replaced after six innings with Arkansas holding a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Colin Poché took the ball and added three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work with no hits allowed.
Sophomore Michael Bernal led the way offensively for the Razorbacks. The El Paso, Texas, native was 3-for-3, including a two-out triple to right field that scored Jake Wise for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth. Bernal’s hit extended the inning that was punctuated with a three-run home run to left field by preseason All-American Brian Anderson to cap the five-run eighth. Anderson and junior Joe Serrano each recorded two hits and scored one run during the game, and Serrano added two RBI, giving the Razorbacks five RBI from their No. 2 and 3 hitters in the batting order.
Arkansas and Eastern Illinois wrap up their three-game series Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.