SEC BASEBALL:

Killian sparkles, but Hogs’ offense sputters again

By: KEITH CHARTRAND SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Published: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Arkansas reliever Trey Killian delivers a pitch Tuesday, April 30, 2013, during the fourth inning of play against Missouri State at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas reliever Trey Killian delivers a pitch Tuesday, April 30, 2013, during the fourth inning of play against Missouri State at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Arkansas’ baseball team could not break through Saturday night against Florida despite a masterful pitching performance from Trey Killian as the Razorbacks lost 1-0 at McKethan Stadium.

Arkansas (8-7, 0-2 SEC) has lost four games in a row and six of its past seven. Five of those seven losses have been by one run.

“I haven’t been a part of one-run losses like this ever,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said.

The final game of the series is set for noon today.

Killian (0-3), in his third start of the season, had his best outing Saturday night. The sophomore from Mountain Home went the distance, scattering 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 6. Killian threw 104 pitches and at one point retired 10 consecutive Gators.

“I got the change-up working,” Killian said. “Got them off the fastball a little bit and the breaking ball started biting a little more [in the later innings].”

Saturday was the first time Arkansas was shut out this year, though the Razorbacks have lost four 2-1 games. It was the second consecutive night Florida’s pitchers puzzled the Razorbacks lineup after the Gators opened the series Friday night with a 2-1 victory.

Florida starter Eric Hanhold (3-1) and reliever Bobby Poyner allowed three hits Saturday. Hanhold went 5 innings, gave up 2 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2. Poyner was dominant in 3 2/3 innings of relief, striking out 4 and retiring 10 in a row.

Ryan Harris got his third save, striking out pinch-hitter Michael Gunn for the final out.

Van Horn shuffled the top of the Razorbacks’ lineup with few results. Arkansas’ No. 1 through No. 5 hitters are hitting .121 (4 for 33) in the first two games of the series.

The Razorbacks’ best offensive chance came in the first inning when they had runners on first and second with no outs. Brian Anderson hit into a fielder’s choice to shortstop to put runners on first and third, but Eric Fisher struck out and Krisjon Wilkerson grounded out to third to end the inning.

“Who knew then that not punching one in [there] would prevent us from keeping the game going,” Van Horn said.

Killian’s lone mistake came in the bottom of the first. Peter Alonso hit a 3-2 pitch to right-center for his first home run of the season.

“It was a mistake pitch,” Killian said. “It was supposed to be a fastball away, but it was up. I had trouble keeping that fastball down early. He got that one pitch and took it over the fence unfortunately.”

The Razorbacks were down two starters, outfielder Joe Serrano and shortstop Brett McAfee, for the second consecutive game. Van Horn said Serrano suffered a sprained ankle while fielding balls Wednesday. McAfee has a lower back injury

“We are playing shorthanded - two starters out that are two of our better offensive players,” Van Horn said. “We could have used those guys.”

SUN BELT

ARKANSAS STATE 5-4, UALR 3-3

Arkansas State (11-8, 3-0 Sun Belt Conference) swept UALR (9-8, 0-3) in a doubleheader Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro.

The Red Wolves won the first game 5-3 and took the second game 4-3 in 14 innings.

UALR scored first in both games on home runs from Tanner Rockwell and Ryan Scott.

ASU broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth in the first game on Matt Burgess’ two-out RBI single. Burgess delivered again in the seventh inning with a run-scoring single for a 5-3 lead.

Burgess finished 3 for 4 with 3 RBI.

In the second game, Scott tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth with a RBI single. He went 3 for 6.

Burgess came through again in the 14th inning, singling to right field to score Dustin Jones, who began the Red Wolves’ rally by reaching on an error. Jones led the Red Wolves offensively in the second game with three hits.

SOUTHLAND

CENTRAL ARKANSAS 4, TEXAS A&M-CC 2

Connor Gilmore pitched a complete game as Central Arkansas (9-7, 1-1 Southland Conference) evened its series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-13, 1-1) at a game apiece at Chapman Field in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Gilmore scattered eight hits, struck out five and worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings to improve to 1-0. The Islanders left the bases loaded in the seventh and two runners on in the eighth. Gilmore coaxed three fly balls in the ninth to end it.

UCA took a 2-0 lead in the first on Chris Townsend’s RBI single and Brandon Montalvo’s hit-by-pitch. The Islanders tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning, but UCA took a 4-2 lead in the eighth. Montalvo and Brad Dillenberger each had RBI singles in the inning.

Townsend went 3 for 5 and Dillenberger was 2 for 4 as the Bears finished with nine hits.

SWAC UAPB-GRAMBLING POSTPONED

Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s doubleheader against Grambling State at Wilbert Ellis Field in Grambling, La., was postponed because of inclement weather Saturday. The Golden Lions (5-11, 5-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) and Tigers (3-13, 0-4) are scheduled to play today at noon and 3 p.m. UAPB won the first game of the series 8-5 on Friday night.Today’s game ARKANSAS AT FLORIDA WHEN Noon Central WHERE McKethan Stadium, Gainesville, Fla.

RADIO RSP statewide radio network. Not all games will be carried by affiliates. Check local listings.

INTERNET www.arkansasrazorbacks.com TV Fox Sports Florida

PITCHING MATCHUP

Arkansas: Chris Oliver (RHP, 1-2, 2.45 ERA).

Florida: A.J. Puk (LHP, 1-1, 3.75)

THE WEEK AHEAD

All times Central

TODAY at Florida, noon

MONDAY off

TUESDAY Grambling, 6:35 p.m.

WEDNESDAY Grambling, 3:05 p.m.

THURSDAY off FRIDAY Alabama, 6:35 p.m.

SATURDAY Alabama, 2:05 p.m.

SUNDAY Alabama, 1:05 p.m.

Sports, Pages 23 on 03/16/2014

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