Arkansas Holds Off Missouri 11–10
BY ANDRES FOCIL
Columbia, Mo. – Gary Hogan, Jr., worked out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning to leave the tying run stranded at third base as the Arkansas Razorbacks held off the Missouri Tiger 11-10 in a four-hour marathon in Columbia Tuesday night.
Playing in cold, rainy conditions all night, the Razorbacks pounded out 15 hits in improving their record to 10-8 overall. Missouri dropped to 7-12 with the loss.
Trailing 10-8 in the bottom of the ninth, Missouri began the inning with a double by Luke Cassis. After a walk to Tony Vitello, Woods was replaced by Hogan who then gave up a single to Jayce Tingler to load the bases. Mick Weiss then flew out to center to score Cassis and cut the Arkansas lead to 11-9. Tingler and Vitello then moved up a base on a passed ball. Hogan was called for a balk to plate Tingler to make it an 11-10 game and move the tying run to third with only one out.
Hogan struck out Jody Roughton for the second out of the inning and forced Lee Laskowski to ground out to second to end the game. The save was Hogan’s first of the season and first since the 2000 season.
Josh Merryman improved earned the win, improving his record to 2-1 on the season. Merryman pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on seven hits with three strikeouts. Derek Roper fell to 0-1 after taking the loss.
Brady Toops put the Razorbacks on the board in the second inning with a single through the right side that plated Nick Pitts. Arkansas added another run on an RBI single to right by Cody Clark that scored Brett Hagedorn. After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Kirk McConnell cleared the bases with a single up the middle to score Toops and Clark for a 4-0 lead.
McConnell then advanced to third after a throwing error by the Tigers pitcher on a failed pick off attempt. Arkansas made it a 5-0 lead when Scott Bridges grounded out to second to score McConnell.
Missouri cut the lead to 5-2 on a two-out, two-run single by Tingler to right field off Razorback starter Layne Berry.
The Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the third inning by taking advantage of two Razorback errors. Missouri put up four runs, all unearned, without getting a hit. Arkansas surrendered three walks to begin the inning, then committed a pair of errors to give the Tigers the lead.
The Razorbacks regained the lead in the top of the fourth with three runs. An RBI single by Cliff Crouse plated McConnell and an RBI double by Ryan Fox that scored Bridges. Cliff Crouse scored on a throwing error by the Missouri second baseman on Fox’s double to give Arkansas an 8-6 lead.
Fox saved a run in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on first and second with one out, Fox gunned down Jody Roughton at home plate on a single by Cody Ehlers. Relief pitcher Josh Merryman then forced Ryan Rallo to pop out to center to end the inning.
Arkansas made it a 9-6 game in the seventh on consecutive doubles by Fox and Conner. A successful squeeze bunt by Hagedorn scored Conner to increase the Hogs’ lead to 10-6.
Missouri cut the lead to 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Laskowski hit a deep fly to left that Crouse dropped as he slipped on the wet grass. Laskowski ended up on third with a triple and an RBI as Tingler scored from first on the play. Ryan Rallo then laced a single to left that plated Laskowski and moved Ehlers to second.
Jarrett Gardner, the second Arkansas relief pitcher of the night, got Brent Lacy to fly out to right to end the Tigers’ rally and hold the Razorback lead at 10-8 after eight innings.
Nick Pitts gave the Razorbacks an insurance run with a double to left that scored Crouse to give Arkansas an 11-8 lead.
Arkansas will now take on Saint Louis at 2 p.m. Wednesday before heading home to host Alabama in a weekend series at Baum Stadium.
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