NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sean Jones returned from a hand injury on Saturday and picked up five hits over two games to lead the University of Arkansas baseball team, but despite his hot bat, the Razorbacks were unable to upset the ninth-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores at Hawkins Field.
Arkansas (15-11, 2-6 SEC) lost the continuation of Saturday’s game 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning, then came back 30 minutes later only to fall to Vanderbilt (18-6, 5-3 SEC) in the second game, 6-2.
Jones was a spark for the Razorbacks as he was on base five times in 10 at bats, setting the table for the Razorbacks. Jones led the first game of the series off with a double and the second game with a single. He also made three good plays in right field for the Razorbacks including an over the shoulder grab on a line drive to the warning track.
Also looking good for the Razorbacks was junior Logan Forsythe who may have had just two hits in the series, but was walked five times as the Commodore pitchers stayed as far away from the Arkansas third-baseman as the they could.
After the disappointment of the first game, Arkansas opened the second contest on a positive with a single by Sean Jones. A sacrifice bunt by Chase Leavitt was bobbled by the Vanderbilt pitcher giving Arkansas two runners on base. Logan Forsythe would walk to load the sacks, but a pop out to the shortstop and two strikeouts ended the Arkansas threat.
Vanderbilt would take advantage of the momentum swing and score one in the bottom of the first, then four in the bottom of the second to take a 5-0 lead. The Commodores would work their way through three Arkansas pitchers over the first two innings to build their lead.
Arkansas would get one back in the top of the fourth when shortstop Tim Smalling hit the first home run of the two-game series over the left-field wall making the score 5-1.
Surrendering a run in the bottom of the fourth, Arkansas began to claw its way back in the top of the fifth. Forsythe led off with a single through the left side and scored on an RBI double by Andy Wilkins. Vanderbilt would change pitchers in an attempt to stop the Arkansas rally, a tactic that worked as the new arm for the Commodores would get three of the next four hitters out, surrendering just a walk.
The Razorbacks head back on the road on Tuesday when they travel to Springfield, Mo., to take on Missouri State in a mid-week contest before returning home for a five-game home stand. The Tuesday mid-week game is Arkansas’ eighth road game in its last 10 played and ends a two-week stretch where the Hogs will be on the road for 12 of 16 days. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.hogwired.com.