Diamond Hogs drop series finale
Arkansas catcher Jean Ramirez tries to tag out Western Illinois base runner Erik Maki during the fourth inning of Sunday afternoon's game at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. Maki scored on the play.
FAYETTEVILLE Western Illinois scored three runs on three Arkansas errors in the fourth inning, and the Leathernecks upset the nation's top-ranked team 7-5 in the series finale Sunday at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks had to play catch-up the entire game after Trent Daniel struggled in his first outing of the year. Daniel, a senior left-hander, gave up six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Western Illinois took a 2-0 first inning lead on a Steve Kedroski two-run single, but the Razorbacks answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits by Tyler Spoon and Brian Anderson.
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The Leathernecks' final five runs came in unconventional fashion, three of which were unearned. In addition to the runs scored on errors, Western Illinois scored in the second on a passed ball and in the seventh when Jameson Henning came home during a two-out rundown between first and second base.
Arkansas (2-1) tied the game at 3-3 on Spoon's second RBI to score Matt Vinson. Spoon finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate and walked once.
Anderson's second RBI double scored two runners in the seventh to pull Arkansas within 7-5. Jacob Morris led off the ninth with a walk and advanced to second on a balk, but Spoon, McAfee and Anderson went down in succession to end the game.
Starter Mason Pingel earned the win for the Leathernecks (1-2) by throwing five innings. Brian Loconsole picked up a five-out save.
Brandon Moore pitched 5 2/3 innings out of the bullpen for Arkansas, allowing one run on one hit and striking out five.
The Razorbacks out-hit Western Illinois 11-9, but stranded nine runners.
Arkansas started the game without several anticipated starters. Second baseman Dominic Ficociello missed his third consecutive game with a strained oblique, while catcher Jake Wise and shortstop Brett McAfee were brought in as pinch-hitters.
Anderson, who started Friday and Saturday at third base, started at shortstop. He and Ramirez, the back-up catcher, were responsible for two of the three errors.