NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Danny Hamblin’s fifth-inning grand slam and solid pitching from Trey Holloway and Chris Rhoads carried No. 12 Arkansas to a series win over No. 16 Vanderbilt on Sunday with a 4-3 win in front of 2,157 fans at Hawkins Field.
The Razorbacks captured the final two games of the series to run their record to 25-8 on the season and even their SEC-record at 6-6. Vanderbilt falls to 21-11 and 8-4 in league action this season. It marks the first SEC-series loss for the Commodores this season.
Holloway (3-0) worked six innings and allowed three runs on five hits while walking a batter and striking out two. He threw 85 pitches and hit a batter in earning his third-SEC win of the season.
Rhoads came on for Holloway in the seventh inning, and threw three-scoreless innings for his third save of the year. He worked around base hits in the seventh and eighth inning before retiring the side in order in the ninth. Rhoads allowed two hits, walked a batter and struck out three.
Hamblin, the junior from Rowlett, Texas, mashed his grand slam over the 35-foot left-field wall and well on the top of the Memorial Gymnasium (Vandy’s basketball arena) in the fifth inning.
It was Hamblin’s ninth home run of the season and his second grand slam. He now has a team-best 46 RBI for the year and six in his last two games.
Jake Dugger extended his hitting streak to seven games with a fourth-inning single up the middle. David Hum added a double, while Craig Gentry, Brian Walker and Matt Willard chipped in with singles for the Razorbacks.
Vanderbilt starter Ty Davis suffered the loss, working 4.2 innings and surrendering Hamblin’s grand slam. He gave up five hits in all and walked two while striking out three.
The Commodores answered back in the bottom half of the inning as Pedro Alvarez ripped a double with a 1-2 count into the right-center field gap. The doubled scored VU leadoff man David Macias from first base, who was hit by a pitch a batter earlier, to cut the Hogs’ lead to 4-3.
Nick Christiani pitched the final 4.1 innings for Vandy, holding Arkansas to two hits and striking out two.
Vanderbilt took the early lead for the third straight game with a home run by catcher Shea Robin in the bottom of the fourth inning. The two-run shot cleared the 35-foot wall in left field.
Seven Commodores picked up one hit each with Robin driving in two runs and Alvarez plating a run.
The Hogs travel to Missouri State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a rematch with the Bears.