STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Arkansas baseball team (17-9, 4-4 SEC) split a doubleheader with No. 13 Mississippi State (19-10, 5-3) on Saturday, taking game one 4-0 and dropping the nightcap 5-1 at Dudy Noble Field.
Jalen Beeks (4-2) was sensational on the hill in game one, lasting 8.0 innings and allowing no runs, while scattering nine hits. Michael Gunn came on to work a scoreless ninth inning and added a pair of strikeouts to secure the win.
Arkansas scored single runs in the second and fourth innings, but finally broke the game open in the fifth frame when Brian Anderson singled home a run with the bases loaded and Eric Fisher added an RBI groundout later in the frame to give Arkansas a 4-0 lead.
Joe Serrano paced the offense, recording three hits and reaching base four times, while Fisher and Bobby Wernes added two hits apiece in the game one victory.
The Razorbacks got off to a hot start in game two, as Anderson laced a single up the middle to plate Benintendi and give Arkansas a 1-0 first-inning lead.
The Bulldogs finally broke through in the sixth inning and did so in a big way, scoring four runs on five hits to take a commanding 4-1 lead. MSU added a run in the seventh and cruised to a 5-1 victory to even the series.
Trey Killian (1-4) was the tough-luck loser, lasting 5.2 innings and giving up six hits and three runs, while striking out one and walking one. Zach Jackson, Jackson Lowery and Landon Simpson all made appearances out of the bullpen in the nightcap.
Arkansas and Mississippi State play will play the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon with first pitch slated for 1:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field. Chris Oliver (2-2, 1.74) will take the mound for the Razorbacks looking for his second straight victory.
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The 4-0 victory in game one marked the team’s fourth shutout in five games and handed Mississippi State its first shutout of the season and first shutout at home in 66 games dating back to the 2012 season. During game one, Arkansas moved to 16-0 on the year when scoring first, but saw the streak broken in game two after scoring in the first inning and falling 5-1. Arkansas was hit by two pitches in the first game and one in the second game to bring the Razorbacks’ season total to 53. Arkansas has been hit by a pitch in 12 straight games, in 23 of 26 games and hit by multiple pitches in a contest 15 times this season. The Razorbacks have won at least one game in 20 SEC series dating back to the 2012 season. Arkansas has won five straight regular season series against Mississippi State and can make it six straight with a victory over the Bulldogs Sunday in the weekend finale. Before Mississippi State scored four runs in the sixth inning, Arkansas put together streak that saw the pitching staff allow just two runs over 54.2 innings of work. The stretch included four shutouts in five games, including back-to-back shutouts in SEC play. Jake Wise threw out his SEC-leading sixth base stealer of the year in the seventh inning. Jalen Beeks put together his third start of the year without allowing a run and recorded wins in all three of those starts.
How They Scored
Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 0; Top 2nd: Eric Fisher scored from third base on a wild pitch. Arkansas 2, Mississippi State 0; Top 4th: Bobby Wernes singled to right field, Tyler Spoon scored from third base. Arkansas 3, Mississippi State 0; Top 5th: Brian Anderson singled to center field, Michael Bernal scored from third base. Arkansas 4, Mississippi State 0; Top 5th: Eric Fisher grounded out to first base, Andrew Benintendi scored from third base.
Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 0; Top 1st: Brian Anderson singled up the middle, Andrew Benintendi scored from second base. Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 1; Bottom 6th: Wes Rea singled up the middle, Jake Vickerson scored from second base. Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 2; Bottom 6th: Derrick Armstrong singled to right field, Wes Rea scored from second base. Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 4: Bottom 6th: Zack Randolph singled to left center, Derrick Armstrong scored from second base and Seth Heck scored from third base. Arkansas 1, Mississippi State 5: Bottom 7th: Alex Detz singled up the middle, Matthew Britton scored from third base.