TULSA, Okla. – Arkansas rallied from a two-run deficit with three runs in the top of the eighth to defeat Oral Roberts, 6-5, on Tuesday evening at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Razorbacks improve to 27-9 on the season, while Oral Roberts drops to 17-14 on the year.
As it has done so many times this season, Arkansas rallied in the eighth inning to take the lead, scoring three times. Jarrod McKinney started the uprising with an infield single to shortstop and then moved to third on a bloop single down the right field line by Kyle Robinson. Robinson was able to advance to second on the throw to try to retire McKinney at third. Collin Kuhn tied the game with a two-RBI single to center field. A fielding error by the center fielder allowed Kuhn to reach second. After a strikeout of Jacob Rice, James McCann drove in the eventual game-winning run with a double to the left-center field alley, scoring Kuhn to put the Razorbacks in front 6-5.
Oral Roberts was unable to get anything going over the final two innings as Colby Suggs and Nolan Sanburn combined to retire the last six batters of the game as Arkansas held on for the win.
With the three runs scored in the eighth inning, Arkansas has now outscored opponents 38-15 in the eighth inning. From the sixth inning on this season, the Razorbacks have outscored the opposition 97-40.
Suggs was excellent out of the bullpen, earning his second win of the season. Suggs threw three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.
Sanburn earned his eighth save of the season, throwing a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout.
Oral Roberts reliever Alex Gonzalez took the loss to drop to 3-5. Gonzalez gave up two runs on three hits in an inning.
Kuhn, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, went 1-for-1 with a team-high three RBI and a run scored. Dominic Ficociello hit his second home run of the season and drove in two runs. McCann had the game-winning RBI with a double. Bo Bigham saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end, going 0-for-5 in the game.
Brandon King had two hits and drove in two runs to lead ORU at the plate. Bennett Pickar homered and also drove in two runs.
After a quiet first three innings, Arkansas opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the fourth. Matt Reynolds drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning and was along for the ride on Ficociello’s two-run home run over the wall in right field, his second round-tripper of the year.
Oral Roberts quickly grabbed the lead with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Nick Baligod singled to start the inning and moved to second after a walk to Chris Elder. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base. King tripled to the wall in right-center field to tie the game. After a strikeout of T.J. Bennett, Brett Sowers hit a double to the wall in left-center field to bring home King for the go-ahead run. With two outs, Pickar capped the inning with a two-run home run into the ORU bullpen in right field.
Arkansas got a run back in the top of the sixth. Reynolds was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and moved to second on a one-out single by Sam Bates. Robinson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Another hit by pitch, this one to Kuhn, scored Reynolds. After a fielder’s choice groundout to third by Rice retired Bates at the plate, McCann grounded out to third to leave the bases loaded and end the inning.
Arkansas returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend, traveling to Lexington, Ky., to face Kentucky. Game times are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday’s game will be televised by FSN.