FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball team (24-16, 8-9 SEC) mounted a late rally Saturday evening against No. 11 Vanderbilt (29-11, 8-9) but fell 2-1 to the Commodores at Baum Stadium.
Jalen Beeks worked 7.0 innings and gave up just two runs on six hits and recorded seven strikeouts, but Vanderbilt got all the runs they would need with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Jacob Stone came on and worked the final 2.0 innings and didn’t allow a hit and tallied one strikeout.
Arkansas mounted a rally late, scoring a run in the eighth inning with a Blake Baxendale RBI single up the middle to plate Joe Serrano, but the Commodores held on the for the one-run victory to even the series.
The Razorbacks out-hit Vanderbilt 8-6, but Arkansas left eight runners on base, including two in the third inning and the bases loaded in the fourth frame.
Arkansas and Vanderbilt will play the rubber game of the weekend series Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium. First pitch is set for 12:02 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (thoughts on Fulmer) – "Obviously he did well tonight. He was outstanding and has electric stuff. His fastball jumps on you and he has a really hard breaking ball. He started using his changeup towards the end and it was a very good pitch. He got into some jams and he got out of them. He used his experience as a reliever to get out of those jams."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (thoughts on Beeks) – "Beeks didn’t have his best stuff. He had his breaking ball tonight, threw some good changeups, made a mistake on a hit and run and they got a hold of the ball. He gave us a chance to win, we had runners on and had a chance to get a hit, it was just a matter of getting that big hit and we just didn’t get it."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on the last two innings) – "I thoughtStone did a good job. He came in and got us through that inning and through the 9th and we were down a run in the 9th in our ballpark and had a chance."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Baxendale’s at bats) – "His first at bat he got down a couple of strikes and got him a breaking ball and got a double out of it. Hit a slider right back up the middle in the 8th and drove in a run. That was a good at bat."
With Brian Anderson’s single in the fourth inning, he has reached base in 16 straight games and hit safely in 34 of 40 games this season. The Razorbacks have held their opponents to two runs or less in 23 of 40 games this year. Jake Wise has thrown out an SEC-leading 14 base runners this year, including one in each of the last two games. Blake Baxendale has had two hits in each of his last four games, and driven in nine runs over that stretch. Baxendale is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, with a .471 batting average in the last four contests. The Razorback bullpen has given up zero runs in the last 13.1 innings of relief action.
How They Scored
Arkansas 0, Vanderbilt 2; Top 4: John Norwood hit a two-run home run to left field; Vince Conde scored. Arkansas 1, Vanderbilt 2; Bottom 8: Blake Baxendale singled up the middle; Joe Serrano scored from third base.