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Arkansas downs Bryant to reach regional final

06/02/2013
Athletic Communications
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MANHATTAN, Kan. –  Jacob Mahan and Brett McAfee each had three RBI and two hits to lead No. 15 Arkansas to a 12-3 victory over Bryant on Sunday afternoon in the Manhattan Regional at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Razorbacks improve to 39-21 on the season, while Bryant ends its season with a 45-18-1 record. Arkansas advances to the Manhattan Regional final and will face No. 17 Kansas State tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Razorbacks will have to beat the Wildcats tonight and again tomorrow to win the regional.

Arkansas finished the game with 13 hits, marking its second-straight double-digit hit performance. Joe Serrano reached base all five times he came to the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and also drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch. Mahan and McAfee each had two hits and drove in three runs, while Tyler Spoon was 2-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Eric Fisher also contributed two hits with a RBI and a run scored.

Bryant’s Carl Anderson and Jordan Mountford each had two hits to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Anderson also added a RBI in the loss. Kevin Brown also added his seventh home run in the game, a solo shot in the second.

Arkansas starter Randall Fant (6-1) earned the victory after allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three in 5.2 innings.

Brandon Moore and Landon Simpson finished the game out of the bullpen. Moore worked 1.1 scoreless innings, while Simpson gave up an unearned run in two innings.
    
Bryant starter Kevin McAvoy (7-3) took the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on seven hits in three innings.

For the second straight game, Arkansas produced offense early courtesy of three runs in the first inning. Serrano led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a Bryant error that allowed Brian Anderson to reach first. Spoon came through with a one-out single that scored Serrano and after an Fisher walk, Michael Gunn had an RBI groundout to shortstop before Mahan singled through the left side of the infield to score Spoon and staked the Razorbacks to a 3-0 lead before taking the field on defense.

Bryant pulled within two runs, which would be the closest the Bulldogs closed the gap in the game, with a two-out solo home run by Brown in the bottom of the first.

The Razorbacks put the game away in the top of the third with four more runs to push the lead to 7-1. After consecutive one-out singles by Fisher and Gunn, Mahan was hit by a pitch to load the bases for McAfee, who doubled down the leftfield line to score Fisher and Gunn. Serrano worked a two-out walk to load the bases again and Dominic Ficociello earned a walk to force in Mahan from third. The next batter was Anderson, and he was hit with an 0-2 pitch to score Jean Ramirez, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice.

Arkansas added five runs in the seventh on a RBI single from Spoon, a RBI sacrifice fly from Fisher, a two-RBI single from Mahan and a RBI double from McAfee.

Bryant closed the scoring with a run in the bottom of the eighth, but could get no closer as Arkansas picked up a 12-3 win.

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