FAYETTEVILLE – Scott Lyons had just two hits on Wednesday but both were clutch driving in four runs and his last hit was the game winner as he torched a 1-0 pitch into the Arkansas bullpen with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give the No. 5 Arkansas baseball team a wild 10-9 victory over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Baum Stadium.
Lyons home run snapped a three-game skid by the Razorbacks (25-9) and shot down the Warhawks (22-13) who had tied the game in the ninth and taken a one-run lead in the 10th. A wild game from the outset, there were six lead changes and two ties over the 10 innings at Baum Stadium and both teams combined to use 11 pitchers.
“This was a big win for us,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We needed to get back on the winning side of things especially going back into SEC play this weekend.”
The Razorbacks were forced to battle from behind again on Wednesday as ULM wasted no time in scoring. With one out in the first, Jon Provost hit a home run to left-center field to make it 1-0. The Razorbacks would tie it in the bottom half of the inning on a Chase Leavitt leadoff home run.
ULM took a bigger lead in the third as it scored three runs on just a single hit. Arkansas reliever Bryan Bingham walked the bases loaded and looked as though he might get out of the jam, but the next batter he faced laced a triple off the wall in right-center field to clear the bases.
Arkansas would return the favor in the bottom of the fifth as it scored three runs of its own on three hits and a costly ULM error. James McCann led off with a ground ball in the hole by shortstop and reached base when the player could not field it cleanly. Collin Kuhn followed with a double down the left-field line to place runners at second and third. Leavitt singled to first base loading the bases for Lyons who pounded a single over the third baseman and into left field to score two runs. Arkansas’ third run would cross the plate on a wild pitch.
The Razorbacks took their first lead of the game on another ULM error, this one by the left fielder who charged in on a fly ball and collided with the shortstop allowing Bo Bigham to score. Bigham had just come off a highlight reel play defensively to end the top of the fifth and then singled with one out in the bottom half of the inning to reach base. Bigham advanced to second on a stolen base despite a ULM pitchout and then to third on a wild pitch.
The teams would trade three-run home runs in the seventh inning with Brett Eibner stroking the big fly for the Razorbacks. Eibner entered the game in the top of the seventh as a defensive replacement and with two on and one out he crushed a 2-1 pitch into the Hog Pen to give the Razorbacks an 8-7 lead.
A pesky Warhawk squad scored one run in the top of the ninth on an Arkansas error to tie the game and then took the lead for the third time on a pair of singles in the 10th. Undeterred by its deficit, Arkansas rallied in the 10th for the win. Kuhn was hit by a 3-2 pitch to reach base and after Leavitt worked a seven-pitch at bat, Lyons stepped up to hit the game-winning home run.
On the mound, Zack Cox picked up his fourth win of the season for the Razorbacks. Cox pitched the 10th inning for the Hogs and was Arkansas’ seventh pitcher of the day. Preceding the freshman were Drew Smyly, Bingham, Christian Kowalchuk, Kendall Wehrle, Justin Wells and Stephen Richards. The seven Razorback arms combined for 11 hits and eight runs with 12 strike outs.
The Razorbacks head to the road on Thursday for a three-game set with SEC leading and No. 1 ranked Georgia over the weekend. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.