FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball team (18-11) capped a two-game midweek series with Nebraska (16-13) Wednesday afternoon, falling 6-4 to the Cornhuskers at Baum Stadium.
Joe Serrano led the way at the plate with his team-leading third three-hit game of the year, while Andrew Benintendi and Tyler Spoon each added a pair of hits.
Arkansas used five pitchers on the day, as Alex Phillips got the start and lasted 2.0 innings, while Jackson Lowery (0-1) came on in relief and suffered the loss. Chris Falwell, James Teague and Jacob Stone all saw action out of the bullpen as the staff allowed six runs on 10 hits.
The Razorbacks had a chance to break the game open in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs, but a double play and lineout left Arkansas with just a 1-0 lead heading to the second frame. Nebraska would score two runs in the second inning and never trail the rest of the contests.
Arkansas turns right around Thursday and welcomes No. 1 South Carolina to town for an SEC showdown on ESPNU. First pitch against the Gamecocks is set for 7 p.m. at Baum Stadium.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (opening statement) – "Good job by Nebraska; they came out swinging the bats real well. We tried to match them a bit and the difference was they drove in runs and we left a lot of guy out there. That was really the story of the day in my opinion."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On South Carolina coming in) – "Pretty solid, older team, they have some quality guys back. They have some power and speed. They have pitchers that pitched in the World Series in 2012 and that is who we will see tomorrow night. It is a solid team and we are going to have to pick it up a notch if we are going to get after them and win this series."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On good battles with SC over the years) – "I have a lot of respect for their program and I feel like it is the same way for them with us. Every time we play them the games are good, there is not a lot of chit-chat going on. You play the game like you are supposed to, you play it hard, and it has been a battle between us over the past couple years. I am sure it will be another great series."
The 10 hits recorded by the Arkansas offense marked the third time in the last five games and fourth time this season the Razorbacks reached double figures in the hit column. Joe Serrano’s three-hit game gave him five hits in two games against Nebraska and nine multi-hit games this season to tie Brian Anderson for the team lead. He also has a trio of three-hit games this season to lead all Arkansas players. Brian Anderson and Eric Fisher were both hit by pitches, bringing the season total to a league-leading 58. Arkansas has been hit by a pitch in 15 straight games and in 26 of 29 games, including multiple hit by pitches in 16 contests. With the series split, Arkansas moves to 8-7 all-time against the Cornhuskers at home.
How They Scored
Arkansas 1, Nebraska 0; Bottom 1: Tyler Spoon grounded into a double play; Andrew Benintendi scored from third base. Arkansas 1, Nebraska 1; Top 2: Ben Miller singled to left center. Pat Kelly scored from third base. Arkansas 1, Nebraska 2; Top 2: Steven Reveles sacrifice bunts. Blake Headley scored from third base. Arkansas 1, Nebraska 3; Top 3: Blake Headley grounded out; Ryan Boldt scored from third. Arkansas 2, Nebraska 3; Bottom 3: Brian Anderson grounded out; Michael Bernal scores from third. Arkansas 3, Nebraska 3; Bottom 3: Tyler Spoon singled to left; Andrew Benintendi scored from second. Arkansas 3, Nebraska 4; Top 4: Ben Miller scored on a balk. Arkansas 3, Nebraska 5; Top 4: Ryan Boldt singled to center; Austin Darby scored from second. Arkansas 4, Nebraska 5; Bottom 6: Blake Baxendale drew a bases loaded walk; Tyler Spoon scored from third base. Arkansas 4, Nebraska 6; Top 8: Taylor Fisher singled to right; Ty Kildow scored from third base.