Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Diamond Hogs drop midweek finale
Arkansas' Jake Wise, right, manages to tag Nebraska's Ben Miller out at home in the second inning Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas and Nebraska played a near-mirrored game Wednesday, but the Cornhuskers had the best stat in the run column.
The Razorbacks lost 6-4 at Baum Stadium to split the midweek series. Both teams had 10 hits and stranded eight base runners, but Nebraska had more clutch at-bats, scoring four runs with two outs.
A Jackson Lowery balk on a move to first base allowed the Cornhuskers to score the go-ahead run wit two outs in the fourth inning. Ryan Boldt followed with a RBI single to extend Nebraska's lead to 5-3.
Arkansas (18-11) pulled within 5-4 in the sixth when pinch-hitter Blake Baxendale walked with the bases loaded. The Razorbacks' leadoff hitter Andrew Benintendi followed, but grounded out to end the threat.
Arkansas twice had the bases loaded but came away with only two runs in those innings. Benintendi and Joe Serrano led off the game with consecutive singles and Brian Anderson was hit by a pitch to give the Razorbacks the bases loaded with no outs in the first inning.
Benintendi scored to give Arkansas a 1-0 lead when Tyler Spoon grounded into a double play, but Serrano was stranded when KJ Wilkerson lined out to the shortstop.
Nebraska (16-13) took the lead in the second inning. Ben Miller hit a RBI single and Steven Reveles laid down a safety squeeze bunt to give the Cornhuskers a 2-1 lead. Miller tried to extend the advantage on a two-out single Austin Darby, but he was thrown out by the left fielder Serrano at home plate.
Arkansas tied the game in the third inning on a fielder's choice RBI by Anderson and a RBI single by Spoon. Lowery, who replaced starter Alex Phillips in the third inning, couldn't hold the lead, however, with a rare balk called when he didn't throw the ball after a move to first base.
Kyle Kubat allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, but earned the win for Nebraska. Kubat pitched five innings last season in the Cornhuskers' no-hitter against the Razorbacks. Josh Roeder worked around a two-out hit by Serrano in the ninth to pick up the save.
Arkansas returns to the field Thursday for the first of a three-game series against No. 2 South Carolina (25-3). Right-hander Trey Killian is scheduled to start on the mound for the Razorbacks.