Nashville, Tenn. – Danny Hamblin drove in three runs and Clint Brannon pitched six solid innings as the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks picked up their sixth straight league win with a 6-3 victory over No. 22 Vanderbilt Friday night.Arkansas improved to 24-12 overall and 9-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt dropped to 25-9 overall and 6-7 in the SEC.
The win marked the sixth straight SEC victory for the Razorbacks, the longest league winning streak since the Hogs won seven straight league games in 1999.
Brannon (2-1) picked up the win after allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits in six innings of work. Brannon also fanned four and walked two in earning his second league win of the season.
Jay Sawatski notched his third save of the season after shutting the Commodores down the final three innings of the game. Sawatski allowed only two hits and struck out four in his three innings of work.
Jeremy Sowers (6-2) took the loss after giving up six runs, four earned, on four hits in six innings on the mound. Sowers walked four and struck out five in the loss.
Arkansas scratched out two runs in the top of the first. After Casey Rowlett flied out to begin the game, Danny Hamblin singled and Clay Goodwin drew a walk.
A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Scott Hode then plated Hamblin with a sacrifice fly to right. Haas Pratt made it a 2-0 game with a single up the middle that scored Goodwin.
In the second inning the Razorbacks loaded the bases with no outs. Devin Day reached on an error, Brady Toops was hit by a pitch and Rowlett singled to right.
Hamblin then laced a double off the wall in center to clear the bases and push the Arkansas lead to 5-0. Hode made it a 6-0 game with his second sac fly of the night, this time scoring Hamblin from third.
Aaron Garza got Vandy on the board with a three-run home run over the wall in left field in the bottom of the second inning.
After the teams combined to score nine runs in the first two innings Brannon and Sowers settled in and pitched four scoreless innings apiece. Both pitchers were pulled in the seventh inning.
Rhoden and Sawatski were equally effective. Rhoden set the Razorbacks down in the seventh and eighth before Toops singled to right in the ninth. It was the first Arkansas hit since the second inning. Rhoden then got Rowlett and Hamblin to pop out to end the inning.
Sawatski never gave the Commodores a chance to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth. He fanned all three batters he faced in the inning to seal the victory.
Arkansas and Vanderbilt continue the series Saturday at 6 p.m. from Hawkins Field. Charley Boyce (4-1) is slated to take the mound for Arkansas.