NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt left-handed pitcher David Price struck out 17 and Arkansas committed six errors as the Commodores handed the Razorbacks a 7-1 defeat in front of 1,323 fans at Hawkins Field Friday night.
Price (5-2) pitched eight innings, allowing just three hits and one run with four walks on 131 pitches. His SEC ERA went to 0.56 and his opponent batting average fell to .156. His 17 strikeouts were a new career high and the most by any pitcher in the SEC this season.
The loss drops the 12th-ranked Razorbacks to 23-8 on the season and 4-6 in SEC play, while the 11th-ranked Commodores improve to 21-9 and 8-2 in league action.
Vanderbilt blew up for five runs on seven hits with the help of three Arkansas’ errors in the bottom of the first inning. Pedro Alvarez came through with the big hit in the inning with a two-run home run to center field. Hogs’ starter Charley Boyce was charged with two throwing errors in the inning.
Jake Dugger answered with a solo home run to right field in the top of the second to cut the Commodores’ lead to 5-1.
Vanderbilt ended Boyce’s day two batters into the second inning. Boyce allowed seven runs – five runs – on eight hits in one-plus inning to fall to 2-2 on the season. Shaun Seibert came on and retired the first two batters before throwing wide of first base on a comebacker, allowing two more runs to score as the VU lead ballooned to 7-1.
Seibert pitched three-strong innings, retiring all but one batter – on his throwing error – with two strikeouts.
Brett Bollman came on in relief of Seibert in the fifth inning and got a little defensive help from Craig Gentry in center field. Vanderbilt catcher Brian Hernandez crushed a line drive to center field but Gentry made a running catch as he slammed into the wall. The umpires never ruled on whether it was an out or a hit as Hernandez rounded the bases. After a lengthy conversation among the up umpires and both head coaches Hernandez was ruled out.
The Razorbacks threatened in the top of the sixth inning as walks to Gentry and Hamblin and a couple of stolen bases put runners on second and third base with two outs. Designated hitter Wayne Hrozek worked the count to two balls and two strikes before becoming Price’s 12th strikeout victim.
Bollman and fellow freshman Michael Wild combined for four-scoreless innings of relief work. The pair allowed just three hits and struck out two.
Gentry collected the Hogs’ third hit of the night with a single up the middle in the eighth inning.
UA six errors tied a season high set against Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 18. The Hogs also struck out a season-high 17 times.
Arkansas and Vanderbilt will return to the Diamond at 2 p.m. Saturday for the second game of the series.