FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 20 Long Beach State scored five runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to rally from a 6-0 deficit and defeat Arkansas 8-6 on Sunday at Baum Stadium, completing a three-game sweep of the Razorbacks with their eighth-straight win.
The 49ers (9-3) became the first non-conference team ever to sweep the Razorbacks (5-6) in a three-game home series and the first team from any league to sweep the Hogs in Fayetteville since LSU in 1993.
A struggling bullpen and defensive miscues squandered the efforts of UA freshman hurler Gary Hogan Jr., who scattered five hits over six scoreless innings in his first collegiate start. Five Razorback relievers combined to give up all eight 49er runs.
Kasey Olenberger (1-0) held the Hogs scoreless on two hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief to earn the victory. Josh Alliston worked the ninth inning to record his fourth save of the season and second in three games. Jared Manatt (0-1) suffered took the loss for Arkansas.
The Hogs led 6-0 after six innings, scoring two in the second inning and four in the fourth. Travis McDaniel provided the big blow in the fourth – a bases-loaded triple that scored Ryan Johnston, Brian Kirby and Kyle Washburn. McDaniel led the Razorbacks with two hits and a season-high four RBI.
The Long Beach State rally began when Jeff Jones greeted UA reliever Brad Bohannan with a double to lead-off the seventh inning. Jeremy Reed followed with a single that McDaniel misplayed at shortstop, allowing Jones to score the 49ers’ first run. A. J. LaBarbera followed with another single, chasing Bohannan and bringing Matt Riethmaier out of the UA bullpen. Riethmaier then walked two of the next three batters to force in a run before Joe Graham’s bases-loaded single scored two more. Brian Kennedy’s sacrifice fly plated the fifth and final run of the frame before Manatt came on get the Hogs out of the inning.
After Olenberger retired the Razorbacks in order in the bottom of the seventh, the 49ers started the eighth with consecutive hits by Jones, Reed and Kevin Randel. Jones scored on a wild pitch by UA reliever Mitch Tisher to tie the game at 6-6 before Washburn misplayed a ground ball from Graham that would have ended the inning. Instead, it scored Randel and Reed with the winning runs.
The win gave Long Beach State its second three-game sweep in two weeks. The 49ers took three games from then-No. 16 Texas Tech last weekend. Having lost five of its last six, Arkansas must regroup in time for Tuesday’s opener of a two-game series with Centenary at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks will send Mike Moriarity (1-0) to the mound against the Gents on Tuesday. Moriarity recorded a win over Oklahoma City on Feb. 22 in his first game back since elbow surgery last summer.