FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 12 Arkansas couldn’t deliver with runners in scoring position on Wednesday night and it cost them in a 4-2 loss to Northern Colorado in front of 4,262 fans at Baum Stadium.
The loss drops the Razorbacks to 28-11 on the season and it is their third loss in their last four non-conference games. Northern Colorado improves to 14-22 on the season.
Right-hander Eric Maydew earned the win out of the Bears’ bullpen, allowing one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work. UNC ace Chris Johns came on to retire Danny Hamblin in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jon Leines pitched the eighth inning before Brennan Garr closed things out in the ninth inning for his fourth save of the season.
Arkansas mounted a rally against the Bears’ closer Garr, loading the bases with the help of two walks and a hit batter. But the hard-throwing right-hander found his way out of trouble by striking out Hamblin and Wayne Hrozek swinging to end the game. Hamblin matched his career high with four strikeouts.
Northern Colorado’s big inning came in the top of the seventh inning with four straight two-out hits to give the Bears a 4-2 lead. Adam Symons and Seth Tartler delivered RBI doubles in the inning and Chad Clark singled home a run.
Senior Charley Boyce replaced freshman Brett Bollman after the Clark single in the seventh inning. Bollman allowed three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work to earn the first loss of his career. Tartler’s double was his fourth hit of the night and came off Boyce.
Brian Walker came through for the Hogs in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners on first and third and one out, the sophomore catcher failed to get down the suicide-squeeze bunt as he fouled it off. Walker made amends two pitches later, ripping a two-run double into the right-center field gap to put the Razorbacks on top 2-1.
Bears’ designated hitter Zach Harris put Northern Colorado on the scoreboard in the second inning with a solo home run over the Hogs’ bullpen in left field. It was Harris’ team-high eighth home run of the season.
James Gilbert made his fourth start of the season and pitched three innings, allowing only the home run to Harris. He struck out four and did not walk a batter on 47 pitches.
Brian McLelland came on in relief of Gilbert and worked two innings allowing just one hit and striking out three. Boyce threw 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit.
Craig Gentry led the Hogs’ nine-hit attack with a 2 for 4 performance at the plate.
Arkansas travels to No. 17 Mississippi State this weekend for a three-game SEC series at Dudy Noble Field. Game times are slated for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.