FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas pitching staff struggled to find the strike zone Saturday afternoon in a 12-10 loss to Illinois State in front of 2,861 fans at a windy Baum Stadium.
Five Razorback pitchers issued a season-high eight walks and gave up a season-high 13 hits as the Redbirds snapped UA’s five-game winning streak. The No. 5 Hogs drop to 8-3 on the season while ISU improves to 2-3.
Duke Welker started and allowed five runs on three hits while issuing four free passes in three innings of work. Shaun Seibert came on and pitched one-plus inning and did not allow a hit, but couldn’t find the strike zone either, walking three.
ISU plated one run in the third inning off Welker and four runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead.
Brian McLelland relieved him and surrendered three runs on five hits in two innings. Travis Hill then came on and gave up three runs on four hits in one inning.
Jess Todd pitched the last two innings and allowed just one unearned run on one hit. He did issue his first base on balls of the season and strike out one.
ISU starter Ryan Copeland gave up 10 runs – six earned – on 11 hits over seven innings to earn the win. He walked three and fanned three to even his record at 1-1 on the season. Kyle O;brien, who started the game in left field, came on and pitched the last two innings to earn his first career save.
Copeland surrendered a solo home run to Logan Forsythe in the first inning, but settled down and held the Razorbacks scoreless until he ran into trouble in the fifth inning.
The Hogs scored eight runs in the fifth inning, pounding out six hits and sending 12 hitters to the plate. UA strung five straight hits together to lead off the inning with runs scoring on a two-RBI single by Sean Jones, a balk by Copeland and a throwing by the ISU third baseman.
The throwing error cost the Redbirds four unearned runs when Wayne Hrozek followed with a three-run home run deep into the Hog Pen in left-center field to give Arkansas a 9-5 lead.
The Razorbacks’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as ISU scored three more times in both the sixth and seventh innings to take the lead for good.
Hrozek paced the Hogs at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI. Casey Coon was 2 for 4 and Aaron Murphree was 2 for 3.
Collin Salzenstein led the way for ISU with two hits and three RBI, while Kevin Dubler went 2 for 3 with a RBI and Ryan Anetsberger was 2 for 4.
The rubber game is slated for 1:05 p.m. Sunday from Baum Stadium.