No. 1 Arkansas’ first true road game turned out well on Friday night as they defeated Louisiana Tech 9-7 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
The game was tied at 7 in the top of the tenth when Jalen Battles hit a two-run home run with Jacob Nesbit on base. Nesbit was pinch running for Charlie Welch who had delivered with a pinch hit double to start the inning.
The Hogs broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with three runs. Christian Franklin reached on an error to start the inning. Matt Goodheart followed with a two-run shot over the fence in right-center field. Cayden Wallace followed with a double to left field. Then Wallace scored on a Brady Slavens single to center field.
After Louisiana Tech took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Arkansas wasted no time fighting back. With one out in the top of the sixth, Wallace hit a shot over the fence in left field to tie the game at 4.
Tech loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but only managed one run. They got one runner thrown out at home trying to score on a wild pitck. Patrick Wicklander pitched out of the jam after that. Tech took a 5-4 lead to the top of seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tech came up with a big two-out hit that scored two more runners giving Tech a 7-4 lead.
In the top of the eighth, Arkansas put together a rally with three walks, two hit batters and a single. Wallace walked to start the inning as did Slavens next. Casey Opitz then flied out and Cullen Smith struck out. However, Jalen Battles then walked to load the bases. Zack Gregory was hit by a pitch to allow Wallace to score. Robert Moore then singled to right to plate both Slavens and Battles to tie the game at 7.
Kevin Kopps pitched a nice bottom of the eighth setting up a ninth inning with the two teams tied. Kopps got the win and Jaxon Wiggins the save. Cade Gibson took the loss for Tech.
Peyton Pallette got the start for the Razorbacks and pitched well. He was removed after four innings. When he left Tech had runners on the corners and no outs. He struck out five and only allowed two hits in his time on the mound.
Ryan Costeiu replaced Pallette, but only recorded one out before being replaced by Zach Morris. Costeiu left with the game tied at 3 and Tech with a runner on third base with one out.
Arkansas (11-0) and Louisiana Tech (8-4) will play the second game of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.