FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 5 Arkansas scored all nine runs in the final four innings for a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Illinois State in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon to clinch the series win over the Redbirds in front of 2,538 fans at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks (9-3) trailed 7-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning and had not had a hit since the third inning off ISU starter Luke Baughman. With two outs Logan Forsythe came to the plate and worked the count full before depositing a fastball from Baughman deep over the left-center field fence to breakup the shutout and spark the Hogs.
True freshman Chad Pierce, UA’s fifth pitcher of the day, entered in the top of the eighth inning and stopped the bleeding after Illinois State had scored two runs in the fourth inning, one in each of the fifth and sixth innings and three runs in the seventh inning. Pierce allowed just one hit in his first inning of work as a Razorback.
Arkansas’ big inning was the eighth as the first seven Hogs reached base and seven runs scored to take an 8-7 lead. Brian Walker was hit by a pitch to start the inning and pinch-hitter Matt Willard followed by scorching a double down the left-field line that chased Baughman from the game. Walker then scored on a passed ball for the Hogs’ second run of the game. Jake Dugger then followed with a RBI double into the left-center field gap to score Willard.
Ben Tschepikow and Casey Coon drew walks to load the bases off ISU reliever Dan Sorce, who then walked pinch-hitter Thomas Hauskey to force Dugger home. Sorce was then replaced by Mike Hlavacek.
Brad Secrist greeted him by ripping a two-RBI single through the right side scoring Tschepikow and Coon to shrink the Redbirds’ lead to 7-6. Forsythe hit into a fielder’s choice to plate Hauskey and tie the game at 7-7.
Controversy followed as Hlavacek appeared by pick Forsythe off first base, but after head coached Dave Van Horn protested, the umpires met and ruled ISU first baseman Jesse Griswold obstructed Forsythe’s ability to get back to the base. Forsythe was awarded second base and Brian Walker followed with a RBI single to center field to give the Hogs the lead.
Closer Jess Todd entered in the top of the ninth inning and allowed his first earned run of the season on a two-out RBI single by Matt Bolt to tie the game at 8-8.
Arkansas finally plated the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning with a little help from two Redbird errors. Secrist reached on a dropped fly ball by the center fielder. Forsythe was then intentionally passed to put runners on first and second base. After a Jacob Julius fly out to center field, Walker grounded to Griswold at first base who threw low to shortstop Collin Salzenstein. Salzenstein couldn’t handle the throw and Secrist was able