FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ Jordan Farris
went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI, while Ryne Stanek
struck out a season-high nine and allowed one run in six innings of work as the 12th-ranked Razorbacks defeated Texas A&M 12-2 on Saturday night at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks improve to 26-15 overall and 10-7 in the Southeastern Conference after Saturday’s series-evening win. Texas A&M drops to 22-18 and 7-10 in league play.
The Arkansas offense put together a 15-hit performance, the most by the team in a conference game this season. Farris led the way at the plate with three hits, including his third home run of the season, and a season-high five RBI. Brett McAfee
and Matt Vinson
each added three hits. Vinson drove in two runs and scored twice, while McAfee had one RBI. Dominic Ficociello
had two hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs, while scoring three times. Joe Serrano
was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Stanek (5-2) earned the win for the third consecutive start, allowing a run on five hits and striking out a season-high nine batters in six innings. The junior right hander finished one strikeout shy of tying his career high of 10 strikeouts, set last season at LSU. Michael Gunn
recorded his first save of the season with three innings of work, giving up one run and striking out two.
Texas A&M starter Matt Kent (2-2) took the loss. Kent gave up four runs on six hits in two innings.
Arkansas jumped on Kent from the start, scoring three times in the bottom of the first. A one-out double by Vinson and single by Tyler Spoon
put runners on first and third for Brian Anderson
, who doubled to the gap in left center, scoring Vinson and moving Spoon to third. After a ground out by Ficociello to third, Farris came through with his first two RBI of the night on a single to right-center.
The Razorbacks added another run in the bottom of the second with a two-out rally. Serrano singled to center and then stole second. A base hit to left by Vinson brought home Serrano from second to make the score 4-0.
Arkansas stretched the lead to 6-0 with two runs in the home half of the third, both coming on Farris’ third homer of the season, a blast over the left field wall.
Texas A&M trimmed the lead to five with a run in the top of the fourth after Hunter Melton singled to right field, scoring Krey Bratsen from second.
The Razorbacks plated two more runs in the fifth as Ficociello hit a two-run homer off the scoreboard in right-center field, his second home run of the season.
Arkansas added two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. The runs in the seventh came on a RBI double by Farris and RBI single by McAfee, while the two runs in the eighth were courtesy of a RBI triple by Vinson and a RBI by Spoon when he reached on a Texas A&M fielding error.
The Aggies closed the scoring with one run in the ninth on a pinch hit RBI double by Brandon Wood, scoring pinch runner J.B. Moss from first base.
Arkansas and Texas A&M play the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The series finale will be televised on ESPN2. Senior left hander Randall Fant
(2-1, 2.36) will start for the Razorbacks, while the Aggies are scheduled to start junior righty Rafael Pineda (3-3, 3.58). General admission tickets remain for Sunday’s game. General admission tickets are $8 and can be purchased on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.