One week after leaving Athens as frustrated as Morgan Wallen’s country fans exited Oxford last Saturday after his no-show, the Diamond Hogs are headed back in the right direction.

While Wallen postponed an additional trio concerts because of reported doctor-order vocal rest, No. 7 Arkansas used a weekend’s worth of small ball and just enough pitching to sweep visiting Texas A&M.

John Bolton had three hits and Jace Bohrofen, Caleb Cali and Ben McLaughlin all added a pair as the Razorbacks (33-11, 14-7) completed the sweep of the Aggies (25-19, 9-12) with an 8-7 win on Saturday at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks were riding a four-game losing streak coming into the series after being swept at Georgia last weekend and dropping a mid-week game at Missouri State.

“Well, it ended up being a great weekend for us, obviously, especially coming off an 0-4 week and two tough losses at Georgia last weekend,” Van Horn said. “Two one-run losses and one of them a walk-off with a big lead going into the bottom of the ninth.”

Arkansas, who had four sacrifice flies on Saturday, led 8-0 after a five-run fifth inning.

But found itself leading by just a run when Jordan Thompson led off the ninth with a solo homer off Parker Coil.

Coil, who picked up his first college save was the last of five Razorback pitchers and the third of three true freshman that came in after starter Cody Adcock (4-1).

Adcock gave one hit, walked three and fanned while pitching four scoreless innings before Zack Morris pitched a scoreless fifth before giving up three runs in his second inning of mound duty – fanning five, walking one and allowing two hits overall.

“I was proud of our guys for hanging in there, hanging in there and winning the game and sweeping an SEC series, which is really hard to do,” Van Horn added.

Christian Foutch couldn’t record an out in the sixth before Ben Bybee went 1 2/3 innings and Coil got the last five outs.

“Parker Coil came in and said, ‘Hey, give me the ball. I’m good.,’” Van Horn said. “In the ninth inning he gave up a leadoff home run with two strikes, but it really wasn’t a bad pitch. It was down and the big lefty just got it. That’s the way the game works some times.

“We had maybe another freshman available, a lefty that hasn’t pitched but maybe and inning or two, and maybe not in conference at all. And we had Ben McLaughlin, our DH, and that’s all we had left. We found a way to win the game.”

Arkansas will play Lipscomb Tuesday night at North Little Rock’s Dickey Stephens Field and travel to Mississippi State for three-game series beginning Friday night.

It was tough weekend for Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle and his squad, which had won four consecutive SEC series before arriving in Fayetteville.

“This was a tough, tough weekend for us,” Schlossnagle said. “That’s the deal. There’s no getting around that and it comes after a time we had been playing some pretty good baseball.

“Sure I am proud of the way they fought back and didn’t give up, but we are not in this for moral victories.

“There’s not a category for moral victories – just for wins and losses and the end result is no wins and three losses this weekend.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for you so you have just got to keep playing the game, play clean baseball and give yourself the best chance. We did not do that to the best of our ability.”

“We are in it to win and play in the postseason, but we are going to need to start making plays, certainly more than we did this weekend.”

The light-hitting Bolton, who raised his average from .172 to .202 during the weekend. seemed to be in the middle of all the small ball.

“Really good weekend,” Van Horn said. “Laid down three or four bunts, took some walks, scored runs, stole a base, got three hits today, drove in two runs, I know he scored a run I think, it seemed like.

“Today was his day. You never know when it’s going to be your day to really help the team on the offensive side. He always helps the team on the defensive side.

“If he can get his confidence going, I think he’s going to continue to hit and start being a force and a threat down at the end. It’d be great.”

Arkansas won 7-5 on Thursday after Texas A&M rallied from a 5-0 deficit and then took a 10-4 decision on Friday.

“Arkansas has a very good team and is just battling through some injuries to some of the best players and doing the best that they can,” Schlossnagle said. “They are grinding out wins until they can get those guys back.

“That’s the mark of a great program and that is what Coach Van Horn has.”

Texas A&M was running low oil pitchers as well.

“Both teams were fighting just to the end with enough arms, but our pitchers gave us a chance to come back and we did,” Schlossnagle said.

He was dismayed by the plays his team didn’t make.

“We gave a team that didn’t need the help plenty of it,” Schlossnagle said. “I mean we walk them 14 times one night, we strikeout 13 times the next night and just get four hits and all weekend we just didn’t make the defensive plays when we had the chance.”

That included some fundamental plays, especially on some bunts that Arkansas really put an emphasis on this weekend.

“This weekend we let what should have been two-run innings turn into three-run innings,” Schlossnagle said. “Or we turned three-run innings into four-run ones. You just can’t do that and expect to win in a league like this.

“Right now, we are still feeling the loss. But we have got to get home and get this behind us. Like I said, there are no moral victories. We just need a win.”

Texas A&M host Tarleton on Tuesday and then Florida visits the Aggies this weekend.

“We play Tarleton at home on Tuesday and we just need a win, just need to feel good,” Schlossnagle said. “And then we play Florida. They are not having a bad season.”

Photo by John D. James