SHREVEPORT, La. – It was pretty by any stretch of the imagination but No. 9 Arkansas came through with the big hits when they were needed most in a come-from-behind 16-14 win over Centenary at Sheehee Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
The Razorbacks (17-6) trailed 12-4 heading into the top of the sixth inning but scored five runs in that inning and seven more in the seventh to close out the Gents. Centenary falls to 10-16 on the year.
Brian McLelland (1-0) earned his first win of the season out of the bullpen. He worked 1.2 innings striking out two and allowing one run on two hits.
Travis Hill notched his first save of the season by pitching the final 1.2 innings with two strikeouts. James Gilbert did not figure in the decision but threw 4.1-solid innings in his first appearance since Feb. 10 at Troy.
The Razorbacks finally seemed to get on track in the sixth inning with five runs on four hits and the help of on Centenary error. Logan Forsythe and Danny Hamblin came through with big hits in the frame as Forsythe plated two runs and Hamblin one. Coon also plated his fifth run of the day with a RBI ground out.
Arkansas continued the rally in the seventh inning with seven runs on six hits to put the Hogs on top 16-12. The inning was highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Danny Hamblin. It was the third home run in the last two games for Hamblin, who is hitting .434 over the last seven games with four home runs and 13 RBI.
Casey Coon put the Hogs on top early with a two-run blast deep over the left-field fence. The blast scored Sean Jones who laced a double into the right-center field to leadoff the game.
A fired up Centenary sent 14 batters to the plate and scored eight runs to put the Razorbacks in an early hole. UA starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel managed to get just one out and allowed six runs, while reliever Chad Pierce surrendered two runs after just one out as well. James Gilbert retired the final out of the inning.
Centenary then added two more runs in the second, highlighted by Matt Davis solo home run to left field. The Gents also got a home run from Matt Webb in the seventh inning to trim the UA lead to 16-13. Webb connected for his second solo home run of the day off Hill in the bottom of the ninth inning. Webb finished 3 for 4 with two home runs double and three RBI.
Coon added is second two-run home run of the game in the top of the third inning to close the gap to 10-4. It was Coon’s second multiple-home run game of the season. He finished 3 for 4 with a career-high tying five RBI.
The Gents tacked on two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a throwing error by second baseman Matt Willard.
The Razorbacks return home to face No. 1 Vanderbilt and left-handed ace David Price on Friday at Baum Stadium at 6:35 p.m.