MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Arkansas earned its second comeback victory over Memphis in as many days Wednesday evening at AutoZone Park, defeating the Tigers 7-3.
Arkansas (17-4) defeated Memphis (11-8) in front of the largest crowd to see a Memphis game in AutoZone Park. The announced attendance of 5,127 broke the previous record of 5,122 that was set April 19, 2006 against Mississippi State. The Razorbacks swept the two-game midweek series following their 7-2 win Tuesday evening at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas grabbed the lead with five runs in the top of the fourth. The Razorbacks waited out five walks in the inning, beginning with James McCann’s one-out base on balls. Following a walk to Bo Bigham, McCann and Bigham stole third and second, respectively, before a Jake Wise walk loaded the bases with two outs. Kyle Atkins then stepped up to the plate and worked another walk to score McCann and tie the game at 1-1. Tim Carver then earned a six-pitch walk to score Bigham before Colin Kuhn knocked a hard grounder to third that the third baseman could not handle to score Wise. Matt Reynolds then drove in Atkins and Carver on the Razorbacks’ first hit of the game, striking a line drive to right field for a single.
Arkansas extended its lead to 7-1 in the top of the sixth with three straight one-out hits. Atkins began the offensive output with a single to center field. Carver followed with a single to right, and then Kuhn knocked both home with a double down the left field line.
Jeff Harvill earned his first win of the season after tossing two shutout innings in relief with three strikeouts. Memphis loaded the bases in the fifth with three straight one-out singles, but Harvill struck out consecutive Tigers to keep them from adding to their run total.
For the second consecutive night, Memphis struck first. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Phillip Chapman scored from third on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Jacob Wilson. Memphis added another two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Chad Zurcher singled to right field to score Drew Martinez from second and cut the UA lead to 7-2 before Jacob Wilson plated Phillip Chapman on a ground ball to third that was ruled an error to provide the final margin.
Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek worked out of trouble in the bottom of the second. After the first two batters reached base, Stanek struck out two consecutive batters before hitting a batter to load the bases. Stanek then got the next batter to foul out behind first on a 2-2 pitch to shut down the Tigers without allowing any runs.
Trent Daniel was summoned from the bullpen with one out in the bottom of the third and runners on second and third. The sophomore left hander from Bryant, Ark., struck out the next two batters to squash the scoring chance right before UA’s offensive burst in the next half inning.
In the seventh, Memphis loaded the bases for the third time and yet again was held off the scoreboard. Freshman right hander Brandon Moore came into the game with the bases full of Tigers and one out but forced the first batter he faced to hit a one-hopper back to the mound that started a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
The Razorbacks return to conference action this weekend when they host No. 2 Vanderbilt. The three-game series from Baum Stadium begins Friday at 6:35 p.m.
For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.