Even though his team was limited with three injured starters and a lack of pitching depth, this was not the effort Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn wanted to put forth in his team’s only Central Arkansas appearance this season.

Lipscomb plated two runs in the 11th inning to down No. 6 Arkansas 8-6 Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 9,346 fans at North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park.

“Well, even if we won the game, of the game, we didn’t play well at all,” noted Van Horn, whose team is 10-2 in North Little Rock games. “We didn’t pitch good, we didn’t field good, we did not drive in runs. Defensively we kicked a couple of balls, we made a bad throw. Overall it was one of our worst games of the year.”

Lipscomb won  two of three over Notre Dame to start the season but was 0-9 against SEC foes this season

It looked like 0-10 might be a possibility when Arkansas (33-12, 14-7) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on Harold Coll’s 428-foot, three-run blast that hit the scoreboard in the opening  inning.

But Lipscomb (24-21) rallied with six unanswered runs to take the lead.

That lead dissipated in a bottom of the eighth where Arkansas tied it 6-6 via three runs on two wild pitches and a throwing error in a chaotic eighth inning.

The Bison won the game by scratching  out a pair of runs in the top of the 11th against designated hitter Ben McLaughlin – the eight of nine Razorback pitchers.

Arkansas was out-hit 8-5 on Tuesday night and its pitchers issued 11 free passes ahead this weekend’s SEC series at Mississippi State (24-20, 6-15).

Perhaps the best things for Arkansas were the two scoreless innings thrown by freshman starter Parker Coil, two more by seemingly improving vet Zack Morris and the four tossed by sophomore Austin Ledbetter.

Ledbetter, a veteran pitcher left off last week’s 27-man roster against Texas A&M, responded to slight with four scoreless innings after his team had fallen behind 6-3.

Ledbetter admitted he felt motivated by being benched last weekend.

“It definitely got to me a little bit,” Ledbetter said. “I just always want to be there for my team and I know I am good enough to go out there and compete with any team in the country.”

Van Horn’s intent with Ledbetter was clear.

“No doubt,” Van Horn said. “You have got to get better. You can’t stay the same. You have to get better each month, each year.

“Ledbetter – it was his best outing…It is the best he has thrown in awhile.”

Morris has struggled this season, but has now put together his best back-to-back outings of the season.

“Morris, we could have left him in, but we felt like we will need him this weekend. He is throwing a little bit better and that’s another  positive.”

The downside was freshmen pitchers Christian Foutch and Ben Bybee facing seven batters not retiring a single one of them.

“But he negative is that we had two kids that didn’t get an out,” Van Horn said. “And that’s, we have limited arms. We were out of pitching. That (Sean Fitzpatrick) that was our last pitcher. If that game gets tied, I don’t know what we are going to do. 

“We were not going to throw anybody we are going to throw on the weekend at that point. We had a could of guys that I think between they two of them threw  27 pitches and seven guys were on base. I think that is what cost us.”

Cool followed up picking up his first save on Saturday by starting Tuesday and pitching two clean innings

“There’s another guy that we probably could have let go,” Van Horn said. “But he just pitched three days ago and got to have him ready, not for Friday, but for Saturday or Sunday. 

“It was good to see him go out there and and pound the zone and then throwing he change up and spotting his fast ball. I thought he did a really good job.”

It appears the injury news on pitcher Dylan Carter is not good. He had a second MRI on Monday.

“Yes, it’s not good and that’s all I am going to say,” Van Horn said. “It’s not good.”

Arkansas rallied with the three runs in the eighth to tie it, but hen couldn’t close it out.

“It was great that we scored three  runs without doing a whole lot,” Van Horn said. “We tied it up and had one of our best hitters (Kendall Diggs) at the plate and a runner at second and he didn’t get a hit. But that is the way the game works sometimes. 

“We also had another opportunity to take the lead or win the game and we didn’t get the hit.”

Arkansas seemingly plays a close game in each of its trips to North Little Rock, the home of the Seattle Mariners’ AA affiliate and a place it is 10-2.

“Well, it is not our home park, it’s a totally different park,” Van Horn said. “This is a huge ballpark and it is a lot different feel. It really is a neutral site. 

“But the fans are unbelievable though. It is alway close. I don’t believe, I think in the 12 years that we have played here, we have lost a couple of times now.”

Van Horn acknowledged that injured pitcher Hunter Hollan might not pitch the opening game of this weekend’s series as normal.

“There is a chance we might move him to Saturday,” Van Horn said.

He also noted that Brady Tygart might start with Will McEntire following him in as happened last weekend.  

“Possibly,” Van Horn said. “That is probably what is going to happen again unless we just straight up start him.”

Van Horn was asked if he was happy that this was his team’s last mid-week regular season game.

“There is a part of me that was glad they were just two left last week,” Van Horn said. “Because we don’t have enough (pitching). We have got three games left on the weekend. Until we get some guys healthy, we have just enough.”

Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas