FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas baseball team (32-21, 13-14) let a late lead slip away Sunday afternoon and dropped the series finale 6-5 in 10 innings to No. 20 Texas A&M (31-21, 13-14) at Baum Stadium.
With Arkansas holding a 4-3 lead with two outs in the ninth inning, Texas A&M rallied with a base hit and benefited from a fielding error to take a 5-4 advantage. The Razorbacks would battle back in the ninth however, and Bobby Wernes delivered an RBI groundout to send Arkansas into its second extra-inning game of the year.
The Aggies quickly bounced back in top in the 10th inning with a leadoff homer to take a 6-5 lead, but the Razorbacks rallied again in the bottom half of the frame and loaded the bases with no outs. Arkansas had three chances to tie or win the game, but back-to-back strikeouts and a fly out to centerfield ended the threat as the Aggies salvaged the series finale in dramatic fashion.
Brian Anderson ended the game with three hits and a run scored, while Clark Eagan and Michael Bernal added multi-hit performances in the loss. Arkansas left a season-high 15 runners on base, including the bases loaded to end the game.
Jacob Stone worked 4.1 innings in relief and was in line for his second win in as many days when the ninth-inning error gave Texas A&M new life. Michael Gunn (3-2) suffered the loss after surrendering the leadoff home run in the 10th inning.
The Razorbacks will put a lid on the regular season next weekend, traveling to Missouri for a three-game set against the Tigers. First pitch on Thursday and Friday is slated for 6 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. start Saturday in the series finale.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
On AJ Minter’s 10th inning performance: “He came in there and got Benintendi with fastballs. With Brian, he got ahead of him and the strike three call was a changeup that looked off the plate and the umpire was not calling it all game. And he got Fisher to fly out with a slider so hats off to the kid, he did a good job”.
On the top of the 9th inning: “Well you’re disappointed by the way it ended. The guy singles and they are going to tie it up with the hit. Joe (Serrano) tried to rake the ball since he wouldn’t be able to throw him out at the plate and instead of a tie game the ball got away from him and we end up being down a run. But we fought back and had a chance to win it once we tied it up but we flew out. We did a great job recently in making contact and driving in runs but we could not get it that last inning so we just have to move on from it.”
On Stone’s performance: “I thought he did a great job. He wanted to stay in and we thought he was pitching well. Sometimes they go your way, sometimes not but they did a great job battling.”
On Eagan’s weekend: “I thought he was really good. From sacrifice bunting to hitting the ball the other way and advancing runners. He did a really good job and gave up a spark.”
· If the season ended today, Arkansas would be the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament and play No. 9 Texas A&M in the opening round.
· The Razorbacks have a magic number of one to clinch a spot in the SEC Tournament. Any combination next week of an Arkansas win or Georgia loss will send the Razorbacks to the conference tournament.
· Arkansas turned its SEC-leading 52nd double play of the year in the eighth inning.
· Arkansas has won 10 games this season against ranked opponents, including two this weekend against the 10th-ranked Aggies.
· Arkansas has won three SEC series against ranked opponents, defeating No. 1 South Carolina, No. 11 Vanderbilt and now No. 20 Texas A&M.
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