Fayetteville, Ark. – Jay Sawatski delivered four scoreless innings on the mound as the Arkansas Razorbacks edged Illinois-Chicago 4-3 in game one of their three-game set Friday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas upped its record to 12-5 overall, while UIC dropped to 6-4 with the loss.
Sawatski (2-1) relieved starter Charley Boyce in the fifth inning and worked out of a two-on, one out jam. Sawatski allowed only three hits, with no runs crossing the plate, and fanned four in earning the win.
Caton Hall earned his first save after pitching the ninth inning. Hall allowed one hit and struck out one.
Boyce gave up three runs, all earned, on seven hits in four innings of work and recorded eight strikeouts.
David Haehnel (1-1) took the loss for UIC after giving up four runs, all earned, on 13 hits in seven innings of work. Haehnel walked three and struck out five.
Jake Dugger gave the Hogs a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a ground out to second that scored Casey Rowlett who singled to open the inning. Rowlett moved to third on a double to right by Danny Hamblin.
Illinois-Chicago tied the game in the third inning when Bryan Russo jacked a solo home run to left field. Mike Hughes then followed with a solo home run to left that gave the Flames the lead, 2-1.
Arkansas regained the lead in the bottom of the third. Dugger singled home Rowlett to even the game at 2-2. Following a walk to Blake Parker that loaded the bases, Haas Pratt drew a walk to score a run and give the Razorbacks a 3-2 advantage.
The Flames tied the game in the fifth on an RBI single to center by Jordan DeVoir that plated Russo. With one out in the fifth, Sawatski hit Ted Rosinski to load the bases. But, Sawatski ended the threat by striking out Brad Ryan and J.P. Moran to end the inning.
The tie didn’t last long as Pratt gave the Hogs a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth with a single to center that plated Parker from second base. Parker doubled to right with one out to get into scoring position.
Sawatski and Hall would close the book on the Flames as the two held UIC to just three hits and never allowed a runner into scoring position.
The win snapped Arkansas’ two-game losing streak and upped the Razorbacks’ record to 9-0 at Baum Stadium this season.
Arkansas and Illinois-Chicago continue their series Saturday, with game time slated for 12:05 p.m. Clint Brannon (0-1) is scheduled to take the mound for Arkansas, while UIC will counter with Ryan Gehring (1-1).