FAYETTEVILLE – Senior Chase Leavitt was three-for-three at the plate and the Arkansas baseball team scored a season high six runs in the sixth, but neither was enough to overcome a pair of costly errors by the Razorbacks as they fell to California at Baum Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 12-6.
The Razorback loss ends a six game winning streak for Arkansas and drops them to 8-2 on the year while Cal improves to 8-3 setting up a game three on Sunday afternoon to determine bragging rights.
“You can’t give a good team like [Cal] five outs in an inning,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “They punched in six runs on us and that kind of took us out of the game. They have a good team and a good offense. We had a chance to come back, down 10-6, but to give up a two-run home run with a changeup out over the middle of the plate is just a mistake. We are too good to be making mistakes like that.”
Cal capitalized on a leadoff single in the first when Mark Canha hit a two-out single up the middle. Arkansas starter T.J. Forrest would get out of the inning with just one run scored despite an error on the next play which loaded the bases with one of his five strikeouts.
The Bears opened the flood gates in the third as Arkansas committed two errors in the inning. The first error came with one out and no one on base and was followed by a walk and a strike out which could have ended the inning. Four hits, an error and a hit batter then accounted for six unearned California runs making it a 7-0 game.
Cal added three more runs in the over the next two innings to make it 10-0, but a valiant comeback was in the works by the Razorbacks in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Zack Cox singled to the left side of the infield which was followed by a Jacob House single to right. A walk loaded the bases for James McCann who hit a single up the middle which scored two runs. Another walk loaded the bases once more leading to a Cal pitching change. The change began poorly for the Bears as a wild pitch scored Arkansas’ third run of the inning. Leavitt then hit a single through the left side to score two more Razorback runs. Ben Tschepikow would single in the final Arkansas run of the inning when he singled to left field.
While the Razorbacks ended on the wrong side of the scoreboard, Arkansas did have some bright spots during the game. Aside from Leavitt’s 3-3 day with two walks, junior Jeremy Heatley showed improvement as he struck out three and allowed one hit over two innings of work. Senior shortstop Scott Lyons made a highlight reel play at short as he dove to his left, stood up and threw out a runner at first and McCann drove in a pair of runs while scoring another for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks and Bears are scheduled to complete their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.