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Key hit eludes Arkansas in 2-1 loss

Key hit eludes Arkansas in 2-1 loss

FAYETTEVILLE – Six Vanderbilt pitchers combined to allow just one run and Arkansas left nine men on base, including six in scoring position, as the Commodores clinched a three-game weekend series against Arkansas with a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.

The Razorbacks drop to 18-6 and 2-4 in Southeastern Conference play, while Vanderbilt improves to 22-3 and 4-2 in conference play.

Vanderbilt starter Taylor Hill improved his record to 2-0 with the win. Hill threw five shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks. For the second straight day and sixth time this season, Navery Moore earned the save, striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning.

The Arkansas pitching staff was outstanding for the third straight day, holding Vanderbilt to a season-low tyingsix hits. Arkansas starter Randall Fant threw well, but suffered the loss. Fant gave up just two runs on five hits in six innings, while striking out three. Nolan Sanburn entered in relief of Fant and pitched the final three innings, giving up no runs on one hit with three strikeouts.

"Pitching for us was outstanding this weekend," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "I thought all of our pitchers did a tremendous job. We’re going to run out of weekends if we don’t start producing a little bit. I’m proud of Randall Fant. He did a good job."

Bo Bigham had a pair of hits to lead the Arkansas offense in the game. Sam Bates, Collin Kuhn, James McCann, Jarrod McKinney and Jacob Morris each had one hit. Matt Reynolds drove in the only Razorback run of the game with a sacrifice fly.

Aaron Westlake hit his fourth home run of the season to lead Vanderbilt at the plate. Jason Esposito, Anthony Gomez,Conrad Gregor, Bryan Johns and Riley Reynolds each added a hit.

Arkansas fell behind for the sixth-consecutive game, giving up a run in the top of the second. Westlake led off the inning with a solo home run off the scoreboard in right-center field.

The Commodores tacked on another run in the fourth inning. With two outs, Curt Casali drew a walk and moved to third on a single to right-center field by Gregor. A wild pitch allowed Casali to score from third.

Arkansas had a chance to get on the board in the fifth, loading the bases with one out. However, Hill was able to get out of the inning unscathed, striking out Kuhn and Morris to end the inning and preserve the two-run lead.

The Razorbacks cut the lead in half in the bottom of the eighth. Kuhn led off the inning with a single to center and raced to third on a base hit to right field by Morris. Reynolds hit the first pitch he saw into center field for a sacrifice fly, plating Kuhn from third base. After a stolen base by Morris, McCann reached on an infield single to short, but Morris was unable to move up a base on the play. Vanderbilt reliever Kevin Ziomek got out of the inning by striking out Dominic Ficociello looking and getting Bigham to fly out to left.

In the Arkansas ninth, the Razorbacks got a two-out base runner when McKinney reached on a throwing error by the Vanderbilt shortstop. Arkansas was unable to take advantage of the Commodore miscue as Moore was able to strike out Kuhn swinging to end the ball game.

Arkansas returns to the field on Tuesday, hosting No. 9 Oklahoma. First pitch against the Sooners is set for 6:35 p.m. Single-game tickets are available for $10 and can be purchased at the Baum Stadium ticket office, while supplies last.

Sports Category : Baseball