MOBILE, Ala. – The No. 15 University of Arkansas baseball team came up on the short end of a top 25 matchup Friday evening, falling 9-5 to No. 22 UCF at Stanky Field.
The Razorbacks (3-1) drop their first game of the year, while the Knights (5-0) remain unbeaten as Matt Diorio paced the UCF offense with three hits, while reaching base in all five trips to the plate.
Joe Serrano had an at bat for the ages in the first inning, battling back from an 0-2 count and facing 14 pitches. He fouled off nine pitches and worked a full count before lining a double to the gap in right center. Serrano would later come around and score the game’s first run when Rick Nomura delivered a two-out single through the left side to give Arkansas an early lead.
The Arkansas advantage would be short lived however, as UCF scored three runs in the third and two more in the fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead. The Razorbacks battled back over the next three innings, scoring single runs in each frame, including a solo home run by Serrano to make it 5-4 after seven innings.
After cutting the deficit to one, UCF came out firing in the eighth and scored four more runs to put the game out of reach. Andrew Benintendi launched his second home run of the year in the ninth inning, but the Knights held on for the 9-5 victory.
Dominic Taccolini (1-1)) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in 4.0 innings of work, while adding six strikeouts. The Bullpen allowed six runs, as James Teague, Kyle Pate and Cannon Chadwick all saw action in relief.
Arkansas goes right back to work Saturday evening, taking on tournament host South Alabama at Stanky Field. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Cox Sports.
- The Razorbacks have recorded double-digit hits in all four games this year and have 59 total hits on the year.
- Arkansas has notched double digit strikeouts in all four games this season, averaging 12.5 strikeouts per game.
- Tyler Spoon extended his hitting streak to four games on the year and six games overall dating back to last season.
- Joe Serrano recorded the 50th multi hit game of his career.
- Arkansas recorded multiple home runs for the second time this year after hitting four last Saturday against North Dakota.
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