HONOLULU, Hawai’i – No. 11 Arkansas was unable to overcome a four-run first inning by Washington and dropped its first game of the 2006 season in a 5-2 loss on Tuesday in the opening game of the First Title Hawai’i Baseball Tournament at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Huskies preseason All-American RHP Tim Lincecum was lights out over seven innings to improve to 3-0 on the season. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking five.
Lincecum threw 128 pitches against the Hogs on three days rest after striking out 13 against Gonzaga last Friday.
“As far as facing (Linecum), we weren’t late on his fastball and it was up there in the 90s,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We actually made him go to his secondary pitches with his changeup and breaking ball. I felt good about the way our guys swung the bats against him. We just couldn’t get that one big hit to get us over the top.”
Arkansas is now 9-1 on the season while Washington improves to 9-2.
Hogs’ starting pitcher Chris Rhoads (3-1) did not make it out of the first inning. The junior college transfer was roughed up for four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. The costly hit was a fly ball to left-field that fell in front of the left fielder after he broke back on the ball. Three more singles and a hit batter followed as the Huskies took a nearly insurmountable lead against a pitcher the quality of Lincecum.
“You can’t spot a guy like that four runs in the first inning,” Van Horn said. “What really hurt us there is we weren’t aggressive on a one-out fly ball that should have been caught.”
Trey Holloway came on and retired the final batter of the first inning and threw 4.1-impressive innings, allowing just one unearned run on two hits. UW scored the unearned run off Holloway in the third inning to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Razorbacks finally got to Lincecum in the sixth inning with a two-out RBI double by Danny Hamblin down the left-field line. The double plated James Ewing and Jake Dugger who both drew two-out walks. The double by Hamblin extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Lee Land pitched three strong innings for the Razorbacks, allowing just two hits and striking out two to finish the game. Washington’s Elliot Cribby retired the Hogs’ final three hitters in the ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Right fielder Matt Hague led Washington’s eight-hit attack with a 2-for-4 performance and two runs scored. For Arkansas Brian Walker, Blake Parker and Chris Hollensworth collected on hit apiece. Both Hamblin and Parker saw sure home runs at any other field in the country fall just short into the prevailing wins to left and center field.
The Razorbacks will take on Texas-Arlington at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday at Les Murakami Stadium and then face host Hawai’i at 10:35 p.m. on Thursday.