STARKVILLE, Ark. – No. 12 Arkansas staved off a late rally by No. 15 Mississippi State for a 6-4 victory to win the SEC series in front of 3,580 fans at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.
The win improves the Razorbacks to 30-12 on the season and 10-8 in Southeastern Conference play. It is the fourth straight SEC-series win for the Hogs. MSU falls to 29-11 for the year and 8-9 in league play.
The series win in Starkville was the first for Arkansas since 1998 and the first series win at all for the Hogs since 1999.
Devin Collis saved the day for Arkansas as the Bulldogs mounted a late-inning rally. He earned his seventh save of the season with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. He sat down Mississippi State in order in the ninth inning, getting Joseph Hunter to pop up to left field, pinch-hitter Matt Richardson to line out to the second baseman and Brad Jones to line out to first.
Shaun Seibert pitched six-strong inning for the Razorbacks before tiring in the seventh inning. He improves to 3-0 after allowing two runs – both earned – on six hits. Siebert did not walk a batter and struck out three on 70 pitches.
Mississippi State finally got to Seibert in the seventh with back-to-back singles from Thomas Berkery and Brian LaNinfa. Charley Boyce then came on to pitch and hit Joseph Hunter with his first pitch to load the bases. He then got Mitch Moreland to pop up to short left field before walking Brad Jones for the Dogs’ first run.
With a 1-0 count on catcher Wyn Diggs, Hogs’ skipper Dave Van Horn went to the bullpen again for left-hander Collis. He came on and got pinch-hitter Joseph McCaskill to ground to Hogs’ shortstop Matt Willard, but second baseman Stephen Robison missed the throw at second to score two Bulldog runs.
Jeff Butts then delivered a sacrifice fly ball to center field to score MSU’s fourth run and cut the Arkansas lead to 6-4.
Clint Arnold led the Razorbacks at the plate with four hits and two RBI. It was Arnold’s second four-hit game of the season.
Arkansas jumped on top 2-0 in the second inning on Arnold’s two-RBI double down the left-field line. Brian Walker then pushed the UA lead to 3-0 in the third inning with a solo home run to left-center field. It was his third home run of the season and his 21st RBI.
Stephen Robison connected for this second home run of the season to lead off the fourth inning to increase the Razorbacks’ lead to 4-0. Arnold followed with his third hit of the day with a single to left field to chase Bulldog’s starter John Lalor.
Lalor (2-3) worked three-plus innings, allowing four runs – all earned – on six hits. He walked four, struck out three and uncorked three wild pitches on the afternoon. Chad Crosswhite came on and got the Bulldogs out of the fourth inning without anymore damage. He pitched three innings and allowed two runs – one earned – on two hits.
The Hogs manufactured another run in the fifth inning to take a 5-0 lead. Robison laid down a perfect suicide-squeeze bunt to score Walker from third base.
Danny Hamblin crushed his 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning, the Razorbacks’ third solo home run of the day, over the left-center field fence. It was Hamblin’s 55th RBI of the season and gave Arkansas a 6-0 lead.
The Razorbacks return home for a mid-week game at Baum Stadium against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:05 p.m. UA then makes its second SEC-road trip in two weeks, venturing to Baton Rouge, La., to face LSU.