FAYETTEVILLE – The 17th-ranked Arkansas baseball team swept a doubleheader from Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday, winning the first game, 8-3, and winning game two, 4-3.
With its two wins, Arkansas improves to 27-10 on the season, while Stephen F. Austin drops to 14-23 after the two losses.
Game 1: Early offense leads Arkansas to 8-3 win
The Arkansas offense scored six runs in the first three innings as the 17th-ranked Razorbacks defeated Stephen F. Austin 8-3 on Tuesday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Razorbacks pounded out a season-high tying 17 hits with seven of the nine starters recording a hit and six starters having multiple-hit performances.
Sam Bates set a new career high with four hits with four RBI and a run scored. Dominic Ficociello and John Clay Reeves each had three hits with Ficociello driving in a run and scoring twice. Brian Anderson, Michael Gunn and Jacob Morris each added a pair of hits. Gunn drove in two runs, while Anderson had a RBI.
Bobby Loveless had two hits, including his fifth homer of the season, and drove in all three runs for the Lumberjacks. Jarid Scarafiotti also had two hits and scored a run.
Randall Fant (2-2) earned the win on the mound, throwing three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Trent Daniel recorded his first save after pitching four scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
SFA starter Reid Landers (0-2) took the loss after giving up six runs on 10 hits in two-plus innings of work.
Arkansas jumped on Stephen F. Austin early, scoring four times in the bottom of the first inning. Morris started the rally with a one-out single and then moved to second after a walk to Matt Reynolds. Ficociello then lined a single to center field to score Morris and advance Reynolds to third. An opposite field single to left field by Bates scored Reynolds for the second run. A ground out to third by Conor Costello advanced runners to second and third with two out. Gunn then came through with a two-RBI single to center field to put the Razorbacks in front 4-0.
The Razorbacks tacked on another run in the bottom of the second. Morris singled with one out and then stole second base. With two out, Ficociello reached on an infield single to put runners at first and third. Bates then chopped a single over the first baseman to score Morris.
Arkansas stretched the lead to 6-0 with a run in the home half of the third. Gunn started the inning by grounding a double down the right field line. A base hit to left by Reeves put runners on first and third with nobody out. David Masters then drew a walk to load the bases. Anderson hit a single into left field to score Gunn.
Stephen F. Austin cut the lead in half with three runs in the top of the fourth. Hunter Dozier doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a single to left by Scarafiotti. After Rory Myers struck out looking for the first out of the inning, Loveless hit a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen to cut the lead to 6-3.
The Razorbacks got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ficociello led off the inning with a single and scored from first base on a double off the right field wall by Bates.
Arkansas extended the lead to 8-3 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Reynolds led off the inning with a double down the left field line. A ground out to the pitcher by Ficociello advanced Reynolds to third and a single to right by Bates scored Reynolds.
Daniel shut down the Lumberjacks over the final three innings as Arkansas picked up an 8-3 win in the opener of the doubleheader.
Game Two: Serrano’s walkoff single gives Razorbacks doubleheader sweep
Joe Serrano hit a walkoff single with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as No. 17 Arkansas defeated Stephen F. Austin 4-3 in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday evening.
With the game tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, the Razorbacks put together a game-winning rally. Jimmy Bosco led off the inning with a pinch hit single. Bo Bigham pinch ran for Bosco and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Morris. After a strikeout of Tim Carver for the second out of the inning, Dominic Ficociello was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch advanced Bigham to third and Ficociello to second. With first base open, SFA opted to intentionally walk Matt Reynolds to load the bases for Serrano. Serrano sent a 1-1 pitch back up the middle and in to center field to score Bigham and give Arkansas a 4-3 win.
Serrano was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored after entering as a pinch runner in the sixth inning. Serrano started the game-tying rally in the eighth and provided the game-winning hit in the ninth. Carver had a game-high three hits out of the leadoff spot for Arkansas. Sam Bates, Ficociello and Morris each added a RBI in the victory.
Hunter Dozier went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Stephen F. Austin. Bobby Loveless and Rene Moreda each had a RBI.
Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs (3-0) earned his third win, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings with a strikeout.
SFA reliever Hunter Dozier (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up a run on two hits with a strikeout in 0.2 of an inning.
Each starting pitcher performed well, but didn’t factor into the decision. Arkansas starter Nolan Sanburn struck out four in three hitless innings, while SFA starter Justin Choate pitched five innings, giving up two runs, just one earned, with four strikeouts.
Arkansas struck first in game two, scoring a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Morris reached on a fielding error by the third baseman and then advanced to third on a single to center field by Carver. A ground out to second by Ficociello brought home Morris to put the Razorbacks in front.
Stephen F. Austin tied the game with a run in the top of the fifth. Loveless led off the inning with a single and then moved to second on a one-out single to center field by Chris Hernandez. With two out, Michael Ruiz drew a walk to load the bases and Moreda followed with a walk on his own to score Loveless and tie the game.
The Razorbacks regained the lead with a run in the home half of the fifth. Brian Anderson reached on an infield single to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Wise. A single to left field by Morris scored Anderson to put Arkansas in front 2-1.
The Lumberjacks tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth. Dozier singled to begin the inning. Dozier advanced to third and Jarid Scarafiotti reached second on a fielding error by Anderson at third. A wild pitch scored Dozier to even the game.
Stephen F. Austin took its first lead of the game with a run in the top of the eighth. Dozier began the inning with a double to right field and he then advanced to third on a passed ball. With one out, Loveless grounded out to short to score Dozier to put the Lumberjacks in front 3-2.
Arkansas tied the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Serrano began the inning with a 10-pitch at bat that culminated with a single into right field. A pair of wild pitches advanced Serrano to third with one run. Bates then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Serrano with the tying run.
The Razorbacks resume Southeastern Conference play this weekend at No. 22 Ole Miss. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The series finale against the Rebels will be televised by CST.