COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The 16-ranked Arkansas baseball team couldn’t get the key hits it needed Friday night, falling to the 22 -ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 4-2, at Blue Bell Park forcing a rubber match on Saturday for the final day of the regular season.
The loss drops Arkansas’ record to 38-15 for the season and 17-11 in conference play, while Texas A&M moves to 36-19 overall and 16-13 in SEC play. With the loss, Arkansas is unable to win the SEC Western Division, but will still have a chance to clinch the four-seed for the SEC Tournament with a win on Saturday.
Senior starting pitcher Dominic Taccolini had one bad inning that included a three-run home run in the third, but settled in to throw three scoreless innings after the homer, striking out three.
That homer for the Aggies came off the bat of Hunter Coleman, part of a four-run inning, which was really the only blemish on Taccolini’s performance. The Sugar Land, Texas native was penciled into the starting spot for Friday’s game after scheduled starter Blaine Knight was pushed to Saturday due to light arm soreness.
This was the second consecutive week that Taccolini found himself in the starting role and for the second-straight week, he was up to the challenge as he looked strong over six innings, giving up five runs, four in the third inning, while walking just four and throwing 93 pitches.
Unfortunately, Taccolini couldn’t get the same run support he got last week as Texas A&M’s starter Corbin Martin struck out 12 Razorback batters over eight innings for his sixth win of the year. The Hogs managed eight hits off Martin, but were unable to bring many home as seven were left on base in the game.
Sophomores Eric Cole and Jax Biggers both turned in two-hit games in the loss. For Biggers, it’s his second multi-hit game of the series and third in the last five games. As for Cole, both of his hits went for doubles, a career-high, and he added a run scored. Chad Spanberger, Dominic Fletcher, Carson Shaddy, and Jared Gates also turned in hits.
Arkansas finishes up the regular season on Saturday with the final game of the three-game series with Texas A&M. First pitch from Blue Bell Park is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.