Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Arkansas falls to ASU again
Arkansas pitcher Trey Killian delivers a pitch during the second inning Saturday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz.
SURPRISE, Ariz. What was billed as a weekend to prove its lofty preseason ranking has turned into one of frustration for No. 2 Arkansas.
The Razorbacks lost 3-1 to Arizona State on Saturday at Surprise Stadium, dropping their third straight game in the Coca-Cola Classic. Arkansas will conclude the four day trip with a game against Pacific at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Arizona State scored two runs in the seventh inning, breaking a 1-1 tie. Trever Allen reached with a one-out single and advanced to third on a pair of throwing errors by Arkansas pitcher Trey Killian and first baseman Jacob Mahan.
Allen scored when reliever Cade Lynch threw a wild pitch and Jake Peevyhouse added a two-out RBI double to score Michael Benjamin later in the inning. ASU nearly added two more, but Razorbacks second baseman Dominic Ficociello made a diving stop on a hard hit ball by Casey Koffman to end the inning.
The Razorbacks (7-4) out-hit Arizona State for the second consecutive meeting, recording six hits Saturday. But like Thursday's loss to the Sun Devils, Arkansas couldn't put together the big inning and never put the leadoff batter on base.
Arkansas' only back-to-back hits Saturday resulted in the team's only runs. Matt Vinson reached with a two-out double in the fifth and scored when Joe Serrano singled to tie the game 1-1.
After giving up a run on a second inning RBI double by Nathaniel Causey, Killian pitched well for Arkansas. The freshman from Mountain Home retired 16 consecutive batters before the seventh inning error and struck out a career-high nine.
Arkansas outfielder Tyler Spoon extended his hit streak to 11 games to open the season, reaching with singles in the first and fourth innings. He stole second base both times, but was twice stranded in scoring position.
The Razorbacks stranded six runners Saturday and have stranded 22 in the last three games. Arkansas has 23 hits over that time, but only three runs.