FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas had to put together an unbelievable rally to beat Southeastern Missouri State 6-5 in 10 innings on Thursday in Baum-Walker Stadium.
In the bottom of the tenth, Casey Opitz doubled with one out. Cayden Wallace then walked and Zach Gregory was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Then Jalen Battles delivered with an infield hit to score Opitz and allow the Hogs to pull off the outstanding win.
The Razorbacks appeared headed for a loss when they trailed 5-2 in bottom of ninth. But they had another miracle rally in them. Opitz opened with an infield single to shortstop. Wallace reached on a fielder’s choice forcing Opitz out at second. Gregory singled and moved Wallace to third. Battles singled and Gregory went to second with Wallace scoring. Robert Moore then singled to load the bases. Christian Franklin walked allowing Gregory to score. Cullen Smith then hit a sacrifice fly that got Battles across the plate to tie the game and force extra innings.
SEMO jumped on Arkansas starter Caleb Bolden in the first inning for three runs. Bolden, who shut Texas down for four innings last Sunday in relief struggled with his control against the Redhawks. Bolden pitched 0.1 inning, allowed just one hit, but three runs. He walked two and hit one among the five batters he faced. He threw 27 pitches with only 14 being strikes.
Patrick Wicklander came in to pitch for Bolden and settled the Hogs down. Wicklander didn’t pitch last weekend in Arlington, but made the early appearance today. Wicklander got out of a jam in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second with one out. He struck out Peyton Leeper though and Opitz picked off the runner, Ty Stauss, off second for a double play.
Arkansas got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third when Franklin hit a two-out shot over the fence in left field to pull the Hogs to within 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brady Slavens continued his hot bat when he planted a solo home run over the right-center field fence to pull the Hogs to within 3-2.
Wicklander gave way to Caden Monke in the Top of the fifth with one out. Wicklander went four innings, allowed four hits, only walked one and struck out three. He faced 16 batters and threw 58 pitches with 39 of them strikes.
The Razorbacks missed a key opportunity in the bottom of the sixth. Smith started the inning off with a single, advanced to second when Braydon Webb was safe at first on fielder’s choice. However, Slavens struck out and Opitz flied out for two away. Wallace walked to load the bases, but then Gregory struck out to end the threat with SEMO still up 3-2.
Monke was pulled with one out in the top of the eighth. He allowed a one-out single to Danny Wright that plated both Andrew Keck and Tyler Wilber for a three-run lead. Ryan Costeiu replaced Monke to finish the eighth. Evan Gray came on to pitch the top of the ninth.
Jaxon Wiggins got the win and SEMO’s Blake Cisneros took the loss. The No. 2 Razorbacks are now 4-0 while SEMO falls to 2-2.
The two teams will return to the field tomorrow at 3 p.m.