HOOVER, Ala. – The No. 20 Arkansas Razorback baseball team’s run at the Southeastern Conference Tournament ended on Saturday afternoon with an 11-1 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
Arkansas (34-22) knew that it had a tough road ahead of it entering Saturday’s competition against the pitching rich Commodores, needing to defeat Vanderbilt (34-24) two times if it wished to advance to Sunday’s SEC championship game.
Following a 22-minute delay because of rain, the Razorbacks appeared to be in good shape as junior T.J. Forrest was able to get the Commodores out over the first three innings. The fourth was where things went wrong for the Razorbacks as Vanderbilt tallied four runs. A leadoff home run by the Commodores was the opening that they needed to get the offense going, which they did with regularity through the seventh, eventually ending the wet game in the bottom of the seventh due to the SEC mandated 10-run rule.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “I knew that we were in trouble in the fourth when they hit the two-out double. Overall it was a good week for us and we were able to play a lot of guys. I thought we played well overall and it was good for us as a staff to see our younger players play so well.”
Forrest would pitch 3.2 innings and allow three runs on just three hits, but Arkansas’ bullpen struggled to record outs as three pitchers tallied just three innings of work and surrendered eight runs on 12 hits.
Arkansas did score a run in the top of the sixth off Vandy starter Caleb Cotham when Travis Sample hit a double to right-center field scoring Chase Leavitt who had led off the inning with a walk. The Razorbacks got five hits on the day spread out over the seven innings with Sample, Andy Wilkins, Bo Bigham, Jarrod McKinney and James McCann all credited with hits.
The Razorbacks now wait for the NCAA to release their regional host sites for the tournament which begins next weekend. Arkansas could get named a regional host, but may also be sent to another regional to play. The announcement of regional host will take place Sunday afternoon with the NCAA selection show airing on ESPN, Monday morning at 11:30 a.m. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.