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.
Hogs rally to sweep Mizzou
Arkansas will face Texas A&M in SEC Tournament
Arkansas center fielder Tyler Spoon heads to first as a run scores against Grambling State during the third inning Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas overcame a four-run ninth inning deficit and rallied to beat Missouri in 11 innings Saturday.
Michael Bernal's two-out single scored Tyler Spoon in the top of the 11th and Joe Serrano followed with a RBI hit to extend the Razorbacks' lead to 7-5. Landon Simpson threw two scoreless innings to earn the win on the mound.
Arkansas (35-21, 16-14 SEC) scored four runs off Missouri starter Keaton Steele in the ninth inning to tie the game. Eric Fisher, Spoon, Bobby Wernes and Alex Gosser each had hits with no outs to pull the Razorbacks within 5-3.
After a fielder's choice out by Michael Bernal and a Tigers pitching change, Clark Eagan tied the game with a two-run single off Missouri reliever Andrew Schwaab. Arkansas had five base hits in the inning after recording only six hits in the first eight innings.
Jacob Stone and Simpson each worked around two runners in the ninth and 10th innings. Wernes, who made several great plays from his position at third base, started a double play to end the 10th inning.
Missouri (20-33, 6-24 SEC) took the lead in the fourth inning, scoring four runs off Arkansas reliever Colin Poche. The Razorbacks pulled within 4-1 on a Wernes single and throwing error in the seventh, but the Tigers got the run back with a two-out RBI hit by Dylan Kelly in the eighth inning.
Arkansas starter Dominic Taccolini pitched three scoreless innings and didn't allow a hit. Poche only got two outs and was in line for the loss before the Razorbacks' rally.
Zach Jackson, Michael Gunn, Stone and Simpson combined to allow one run over the final 6 1/3 innings.
With the win, Arkansas earned the No. 7 seed at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. The Razorbacks will play Texas A&M in a single-elimination game Tuesday at approximately 1 p.m.
Arkansas beat Texas A&M twice last weekend. The Razorbacks blew a ninth inning lead against the Aggies and failed to score with the bases loaded in the 10th inning of a Game 3 loss in the series.
The winner of Tuesday's game will move into a double-elimination round and will play Ole Miss on Wednesday.