FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Second-seeded Arkansas staved off elimination Saturday afternoon with a 6-2 win over Princeton in front of 5,714 fans at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional at Baum Stadium.
Tiger’s hurler Christian Staehely held the Razorbacks hitless over the first seven innings and owned a 2-0 lead after Spencer Lucian’s two-run home run in the seventh inning.
Staehely showed signs of tiring after walking the first two batters in the top of the eighth inning and loading the bases on a bunt by Jake Dugger where he was late trying to get the lead runner at third base.
James Ewing then came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Hogs still hitless. The freshman from Beaumont, Texas, delivered with bases-clearing double into the right-center field gap.
Dugger, who was running on contact, nearly caught Craig Gentry rounding third base and the Razorbacks’ tying and go-ahead runs scored almost simultaneously for a 3-2 lead.
Brian Walker then followed with a double to left-center field to score Ewing and Chris Hollensworth followed that with a RBI single through the left side to complete the Hogs’ five-run eighth inning.
Arkansas tacked on a insurance run in the top of the ninth when Danny Hamblin ripped a shot right through the legs of the Tigers’ shortstop to score Ewing, who doubled for the second time in as many innings two batters earlier.
Staehely took the loss falling to 5-2 on the season. He allowed just the one hit to Ewing, but surrendered four runs and issued five walks while fanning three.
Shaun Seibert started for the Razorbacks and turned in one of his best performances of the season in a no decision. He worked six-plus innings and surrendered just two runs – both on Lucian’s home run – on seven hits while striking out six and walking just one.
Brian McLelland pitched the final three innings of the game to improve to 4-1 on the year. He did not allow a hit and struck out two.
The Razorbacks will face the loser of tonight’s Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts game at 2 p.m. Sunday.