TULSA, Okla. – Greg Blum’s two-out, RBI double in the top of the eighth broke a 3-3 tie as Arkansas (16-20) snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 5-4 win at Oral Roberts (22-11) on Tuesday night.
Arkansas, however, did not escape without a scare. ORU’s Steve Holm moved to second base on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before UA right fielder Brian Kirby went to the wall to snare Trevor Leu’s fly ball off Razorback reliever Gary Hogan Jr. and end the game.
The loss snapped the Golden Eagles’ four-game winning streak and gave the Hogs their seventh win in the last eight meetings with ORU.
Brad Bohannan (3-2) earned his first win in three decisions with 1 2/3 innings in relief of UA starter Jared Manatt. Bohannan struck out two, walked one and gave up one run (unearned) on one hit. Hogan picked up his third save of the season with 1 2/3 innings of hitless, scoreless relief. Manatt struck out a career-high seven and did not walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings, the longest outing of his career.
ORU starter Jordan Gerk (3-5) suffered the loss despite a career-high 13 strikeouts and no walks. Gerk gave up five runs (earned) on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings.
The Razorbacks led 3-0 after two innings on a home run by Jeff Fletcher to lead off the game and a two-run homer by Brian Kirby in the second inning.
Manatt retired the first eight ORU batters before giving up a two-out triple to Erick Donaldson in the third inning. Donaldson scored on Bryan Gann’s single, cutting the UA lead to 3-1. Brian Hickman’s two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the eighth tied the game at 3-3 and chased Manatt from the game.
Blum gave the Hogs a 4-3 lead with his double in the eighth before stealing third and scoring on a wild third strike to Kyle Washburn for a 5-3 UA advantage.
In the ORU eighth, pinch hitter Stockton Davis reached on a fielding error and scored on Billy Joe Richardson’s double to center field, trimming the UA lead to 5-4. Richardson moved to third on Erick Donaldson’s fielder’s choice before UA first baseman Brad Hagedorn ended the inning with a diving stop of a grounder off the bat of Gann.
The Razorbacks return to Baum Stadium on Friday for their first home game since March 28 when they open a three-game Southeastern Conference series with Alabama at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Hogs will be looking to end their school-record nine-game losing streak and end a six-game losing streak against the Crimson Tide.