Hogs a no-show in loss to Rebels
Arkansas catcher Blake Baxendale (24) tries to apply the tag to UNLV's Joey Armstrong at the plate Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. Armstrong was safe on the play.
FAYETTEVILLE - It was a different Arkansas team Tuesday night.
Three days after putting together their cleanest, most impressive performance of the season in a series-clinching victory over No. 1 South Carolina, the Razorbacks were sluggish in all areas in their 10-7 loss to No. 20 UNLV in front of an announced crowd of 1,853 at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks (20-13) committed 3 errors, gave up 4 unearned runs and were outhit 10-7 as 4 pitchers combined to walk 7.
“That’s the disappointing thing,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. “You have to show up every day and put out a good effort and be ready to play mentally, and it just didn’t feel that way to me.”
Arkansas took a 3-2 lead on a three-run home run from Michael Bernal in the second inning and led 4-3 after three innings, but the Rebels (23-9) controlled it from there. UNLV scored two runs in the fourth inning off a hit and an Arkansas error and a run in the fifth on a home run by Edgar Montes.
A three-hit, four-run sixth inning made it 10-4 and included two bases-loaded walks and a run scored on a bases-loaded catcher’s interference call.
“We got off to a bad start,” Van Horn said. “They hit a lot of balls hard. We held them in the first and second, and in the third it seemed like they had runners all over the bases and we were living on the edge.
“Somehow we managed to hang in there and make it a game late, but it just wasn’t a very pretty game at all.Sometimes it goes that way. We threw a lot of pitches and pitched behind in the count a lot, and that made it difficult.”
Arkansas got its offense going again in the seventh, scoring two runs off hits by Bernal and Andrew Benintendi and a sacrifice fly by Eric Fisher to pull within 10-6.
Brian Anderson set the final score with a two-out home run in the ninth, extending his hitting streak to nine games.
Sophomore right-handed starter Colin Poche, who entered the game 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA, lasted just 2 innings, giving up 2 runs, 3 hits and 1 walk before being replaced by Landon Simpson.
Simpson (0-1) took the loss, allowing 4 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 4 and walking 3 in 3 innings. UNLV added three runs off James Teague and one run off Jackson Lowery, who threw the final 3 2/3 innings.
“We’ve been up and down,” Van Horn said of his midweek pitching. “We’re just looking for a couple of guys out of the bullpen to establish themselves.”
Sophomore Kenny Oakley (3-2) won for the Rebels, allowing 6 runs - 5 earned - in 6 1/3 innings while walking 4 and striking out 5.
The teams will wrap up their two-game series at 6:05 p.m. today. Arkansas returns to SEC play on Friday in a three-game series at LSU.
“We need a win,” Van Horn said. “We’re playing a good team, and they got after us today. It’d be nice to get a win before we go to Baton Rouge.”
Today’s game UNLV AT ARKANSAS
WHEN 6:05 p.m WHERE Baum Stadium, Fayetteville RECORDS UNLV 23-9; Arkansas 20-13 RADIO RSP statewide radio network.
Not all games will be carried by affiliates. Check local listings.
Sports, Pages 19 on 04/09/2014