Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
SEC BASEBALL :
UA offense wins in save situation
Arkansas baserunner Michael Bernal scores a run in the 3rd inning of the May 10, 2014, game against Texas A&M at Baum Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas' bullpen gave up a late lead against Texas A&M for the second consecutive night at Baum Stadium, but just like Friday night it didn't cost the Razorbacks.
Arkansas' offense bailed out the bullpen again.
TEXAS A&M AT ARKANSAS
WHEN 1:05 p.m.
WHERE Baum Stadium, Fayetteville
RADIO RSP statewide radio network. Not all games will be carried by affiliates. Check local listings.
THE WEEK AHEAD
TODAY Texas A&M, 1:05 p.m. MONDAY off TUESDAY off WEDNESDAY off THURSDAY at Missouri, 6 p.m. FRIDAY at Missouri, 6 p.m. SATURDAY at Missouri, 2 p.m.
Arkansas 7, Texas A&M 3
Vanderbilt 16, Florida 2 LSU 2, Alabama 0 Alabama at LSU, 2nd game, (n) South Carolina 3, Missouri 1 Georgia 2, Ole Miss 0 Auburn 8, Kentucky 1 Mississippi St. 1, Tennessee 0, 10 inn.
All times Central
Auburn at Kentucky, TBD Missouri at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m. Alabama at LSU, 1 p.m.
Texas A&M at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.
Georgia at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m. Tennessee at Mississippi St., 1:30 p.m.
The end result Saturday was a 7-3 Arkansas victory in front of an announced crowd of 6,673, and it came about 24 hours after the Aggies tied the first game of the series with a run in the top of the ninth only to see Arkansas win 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the ninth.
The excitement occurred in the eighth inning this time.
Michael Bernal singled to lead off the eighth and moved up on Clark Eagan's well-placed bunt, just as he did before scoring the winning run in the ninth inning Friday.
Andrew Benintendi followed with a ground ball deep in the hole to second baseman Ryne Birk, who threw wildly to first, allowing Bernal to score from second to break a 3-3 tie and spark a four-run inning.
"Seemed like a little deja vu," Bernal said. "Everybody behind me did their job as well. Clark laid down a perfect bunt, which he's done three times now. We don't want that to be overlooked, because that's big time."
Arkansas kept scoring.
Brian Anderson ripped an RBI single to center field and Eric Fisher hit a two-run home run, his eighth, deep to right-center field to turn a tight game into a rout.
Arkansas (32-20, 13-13) won the first two games of an SEC series for the first time this season. The Razorbacks also got their SEC record back to .500 for the seventh time and passed the Aggies (30-21, 12-14) in the compact SEC West standings behind division leader Ole Miss.
"Hopefully we can take this momentum and bring it into [today]," said Benintendi, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI while batting in the No. 3 spot.
"Realistically, this time of year we just need a win," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "It's about finding ways to win, and that's what we've done the last three games.
"I'm just real proud of our guys for not panicking."
Arkansas led 3-0 through three innings behind starting pitcher Chris Oliver, taking advantage of a throwing error by A&M shortstop Blake Allemand to score two runs in the second.
"Every mistake we made, Arkansas made us pay dearly for it, in the second and again there in the eighth inning," Texas A&M Coach Rob Childress said.
Arkansas made it 3-0 in the third when Bernal singled, moved up on Eagan's bunt and scored on Benintendi's two-out single off right-hander Grayson Long.
Texas A&M closed to 3-1 in the fourth on Birk's double and a run-producing single from clean-up batter Nick Banks.
Arkansas had a chance to increase its lead in the bottom of the sixth after a one-out walk by Benintendi and Anderson's hit-and-run single to right field. Fisher lifted a fly ball to left field that was plenty deep enough to score Benintendi from third, but Aggies left fielder Jace Statum fired to second after making the catch and threw out Anderson at second before Benintendi crossed the plate to nullify the run.
"We had a chance to build up a 4-1 lead, made a base-running mistake, a coaching mistake, both, and we don't get a run," Van Horn said.
"It was one of those kind of freak plays that just happened," Anderson said. "We were both doing the right thing. Stuff like that happens in baseball."
The Aggies got a run back in the seventh against Oliver and tied it 3-3 in the eighth off reliever Zach Jackson.
Birk singled with one out, and after a Cole Lankford single and a passed ball by catcher Jake Wise, Birk scored on reliever Jackson's wild pitch.
The Razorbacks go for the sweep in today's 1:05 p.m. game and will start freshman right-hander Dominic Taccolini. Texas A&M will start senior right-hander Parker Ray.
"It's definitely an exciting opportunity we have in front of us, but just because we won the first two we're not going to take the third one for granted," Anderson said. "We've got to come out with an edge against a veteran guy that's going to get after us."
Sports on 05/11/2014