Arkansas Sweeps UIC With a Pair of Comeback Vi
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1996 with a pair of come-from-behind victories to sweep Illinois-Chicago in an afternoon double-header at Baum Stadium.
UIC (0-2) took the lead early in both games, but the Razorbacks scored a combined 11 runs from the sixth inning on to rally and record their sixth straight sweep of a non-tournament double-header.
Sophomore Brady Toops led the Razorbacks offensively as he went 5-for-8 with six RBI, a double and a home run. Toops’ four RBI in game one was a career-best.
In game two, UIC took a 4-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Brad Ryan singled home Kevin Nelson and Chuck Peters drove in Ryan and Bryan Russo.
But, the Razorbacks answered in the bottom half of the inning when Toops doubled to center to score Nick Pitts (hit by pitch) and Brett Hagedorn (walk) to make it a 4-3 game.
Relief pitcher Scott Roehl shut the Flames down after the sixth inning, limiting UIC to only three hits over the final three innings.
Arkansas tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh on Andrew Wishy’s RBI double that plated Haas Pratt (double). Ryan Fox then laced a single to center that scored Wishy to give the Hogs a 5-4 lead.
Fox moved to second on a ground out by Pitts and came around to score on a throwing error by the UIC third baseman on a ground ball by Hagedorn.
Roehl (1-0) got his first win of the season after going three and one-third innings in relief of starter Clint Brannon. Roehl surrendered only three hits and fanned three in the win.
Charlie Hahn (0-1) took the loss for UIC after allowing five runs (four earned) in one and two-thirds innings of work.
In game one, Pratt’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning scored Kirk McConnell from third to give the Hogs an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over UIC
Jay Sawatski (2-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning to earn his second straight victory. Jarrett Gardner started and pitched six innings, giving up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits before giving way to Boyd Goodner.
In his first appearance of the season, Goodner went four and one-third innings without allowing a run and giving up just two hits.
Eric Xidis (0-1) took the loss for the Flames after giving up six runs (one earned) on eight hits in four and one-third innings.
The Flames jumped out to a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half. UIC put up a run in the first and three in the second on four doubles, three coming in the second inning.
Arkansas scratched out a run in the bottom of the third when Scott Bridges singled home Scott Hode who doubled off the wall in left
UIC added a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead. Toops drove in Pitts with a single up the middle to cut the deficit to 6-2.
The Flames made it a 7-2 game in the sixth when Carey singled home Ryan who hit the sixth double of the game for UIC.
The Razorbacks exploded for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. Pitts drove in Pratt (double) with a sacrifice fly to center for the first run of the inning. Hagedorn plated Wishy (walk) with a single to make it a 7-4 game.
With one out and two on, Toops drilled the first pitch he saw over the bullpen in right field to tie the game at 7-7. It was Toops’ first career home run.
Arkansas and UIC conclude the weekend series Sunday at Baum Stadium. The game is slated to start at noon.
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