HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Danny Hamblin’s bat carried No. 11 Arkansas to a 7-1 win over Texas-Arlington on Saturday in the Razorbacks’ final game at the First Hawai’i Title Rainbow Baseball Tournament at Les Murakami Stadium.
The win improved the Hogs’ record to 13-1 on the season with a 4-1 record at the FHT Rainbow Baseball Tournament. Arkansas needs Hawai’i to win one of two games against Washington on Saturday night to claim the tournament title with the best record. Washington will win the tournament if they sweep both games from the Rainbows.
Hamblin went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI on Saturday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He finished the tournament with a .450 (9 for 20) batting average, three doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI, a 1.050 slugging percentage and a .478 on-base percentage. Hamblin has collected at least one RBI in 10 straight games and 12-of-14 games this season. He also leads the team with seven multiple-RBI games.
Brian McLelland earned his first win of the season out of the bullpen with 2.2 innings of work. Arkansas used six pitchers on the day, including starter Chris Rhoads, Trey Holloway, Lee Land, Devin Collis and Daryl Maday.
UTA starting pitcher Dillon Gee (1-4) took the loss. He threw 6.1 innings, allowing four runs – two earned – on six hits. He walked three and struck out four. Daniel Rieder, David Mcleod and James Smith led the Mavericks 11-hit attack with two hits apiece.
Ben Tschepikow jump started the Hogs’ first inning with a solo home run over the right-field wall. Hamblin followed with an infield single and came around score on Brian Walker’s single to left field that got past the outfielder for an error and a 2-0 Razorback lead.
UA added its third run in the second inning as Chris Hollensworth grounded into a double play but got the run home from third base to extend the lead to 3-0.
Texas-Arlington got things rolling in the third inning off Rhoads with three straight base hits highlighted by Mcleod’s RBI single to right field. McLelland entered the game for the Hogs following the Mcleod single and struck out the next three hitters to get out of the inning and preserve the lead.
A leadoff bunt by Stephen Robison in the seventh inning came around to score on two wild pitches by reliever Randy Cornejo. Cornejo walked both hitters he faced before giving way to Brandon Endsley.
Hamblin greeted Endsley with a two-RBI double into right-center field to give the Razorbacks a 6-1 lead. It was the 11th and 12th RBI of the tournament for Hamblin and the 21st and 22nd RBI of the season for the Hogs’ first baseman.
Robison finished the FHT Rainbow Baseball Tournament with a .545 (6 for 11) batting average, two stolen bases and three RBI while playing outstanding defense in center field.
Hollensworth lined his fifth double of the tournament and team-high 10th double of the season off the left-field wall to open the ninth inning. Matt Willard followed with a single and Hollensworth came around to score as Jake Dugger grounded into a double play to give UA a 7-1 edge. Hamblin then doubled into the left-center field gap but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple to end the top of the ninth inning.
The Hogs return home to play Cal State-Northridge on March 10-12 at Baum Stadium before opening SEC at Florida the following weekend.