COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M exploded for five-unearned runs in the third inning and four-more unearned runs in fifth inning and previously undefeated Arkansas couldn’t recover as the Aggies posted 15-7 win in front of 6,371 fans at Olsen Field on Saturday night.
The loss dropped Dave Van Horn’s Hogs to 5-1 on the season in a matchup with his former pitching coach Rob Childress, who’s Aggies improve to 6-2.
The Aggies only outhit the Razorbacks 14 to 12, but got the big hits with runners in scoring position. A&M only left six runners on bases while the Hogs stranded 10.
A pair of true freshmen right-handers from Houston got the start on the mound for Arkansas and Texas A&M. UA’s Kendall Korbal, from Langham Creek High School, squared off with Barret Loux, a graduate of Stratford High School.
Loux lasted just one batter into the third inning and exited after a walk to Andy Wilkins. Loux surrendered two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Left-hander Brooks Raley came on in relief and worked five innings to secure his first win of the season. Raley (1-0) surrendered three runs on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Korbal (0-1) didn’t last much longer into the bottom half of the third inning, going 2.2 innings while being hit for seven runs – three earned – on five hits with a strikeout and no walks.
Bolsinger entered and couldn’t stop the bleeding as he allowed both of the Korbal’s runners to score on a single and then a wild pitch. He then got tagged a run of his own on Brodie Greene’s RBI double off the left-center field wall to make it 8-2. All five runs in the inning were unearned after the first batter of the third inning reached on a throwing error on Hogs’ third baseman Andrew Darr.
Arkansas kept fighting after Texas A&M’s five-run third inning with a three-run fourth inning. With one out Chase Leavitt was hit by a pitch and Andrew Darr, who replaced Logan Forsythe in the bottom of the third inning who strained a hamstring, singled to left-center field. Wilkins then ripped a double over the center fielders’ head to score Leavitt. A wild pitch scored Darr and Wilkins raced home an RBI ground out by Casey Coon to cut the Aggie lead to 8-5.
The Razorbacks were victim to a little bad luck in the bottom of the fifth inning and could not overcome the adversity as A&M scored four more unearned runs to extend the lead to 12-5. After Bolsinger hit Brian Ruggiano to lead off the inning, Darby Brown hit into what appeared to be 3-6-3 double play but first base umpire Jason Millsap called the runner safe at first base.
Van Horn immediately sprinted out of the dugout to argue the call and was ejected after a brief argument. It was the first time Van Horn has been ejected from a game since May 5, 2007 vs. LSU.
The Aggies added run in the seventh on two singles and a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Blake Stouffer.
Jacob House connected for his first home run of the season as a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth inning. The two-run home run came on the heels of an infield single by Leavitt, who was called safe by Millsap. The home run cut the lead to 13-7.
A&M answered back with a two-run home run by reserve catcher Kevin Gonzalez in the bottom of the eighth inning to chase UA reliever Evan Cox from the game.
Wilkins returned to the Hogs’ lineup a day removed from his grandmother’s funeral and went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. He drove in the first run of the game for Arkansas in the top of the first inning with a single to right field. Leavitt led off the game with sharp single up the middle and advanced to second base on a wild pitch before racing home on Wilkins’ single.
A&M leadoff man Kyle Colligan quickly tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the first inning when he deposited Korbal’s 1-0 offering over the left-center field fence.
Sophomore shortstop Tim Smalling snapped a season-opening 0-for-15 slump with a line drive through the left side of the infield. Smalling moved to third base on Ryan Cisterna’s single to right field and scored on Scott Lyons’ RBI fielder’s choice to make it 2-1.
The Aggies came right back in the bottom half of the second inning when Ruggiano tripled to center field in front of the Hogs’ diving center fielder Brett Eibner. The ball skipped past Eibner and allowed Luke Anders, who singled to open the inning, to score and tie the game at 2-2. Ruggiano then scored on Darby Brown’s sacrifice fly to right field that gave A&M its first lead of the game at 3-2.
Arkansas will play Ohio State in its last game of the Domino’s Pizza Classic at 11 a.m. Sunday at Olsen Field. The game will be televised by Cox Sports, channel 119 in Northwest Arkansas, and can also be heard on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network.