FAYETTEVILLE (NWAOnline.com) - Modifications to the collegiate bats were expected to limit high scoring baseball games this season.
Apparently, Arkansas and Wisconsin-Milwaukee never got that memo.
The two teams combined for 22 runs on 24 hits and nine errors as the No. 16 Razorbacks prevailed 13-9 Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium. Arkansas claimed its third consecutive weekend series with the win.
"I feel very fortunate to win the game," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "It was a sloppy game all the way around and I think both teams feel the same way."
The Panthers (1-6) jumped on Arkansas starter Brandon Moore early. Wisconsin-Milwaukee scored three runs in the first inning and another in the second on an RBI from former Razorback Chad Pierce to go up 4-0.
After Arkansas scored five in the bottom of the third to take a 5-4 lead, Wisconsin-Milwaukee scored four more in the top of the fourth to go up 8-5.
Moore, who had won the first two starts of his career, finished the day with a no-decision by allowing eight runs on eight hits in just three innings on the mound.
"We were down 4-0 before we knew what happened," Van Horn said. "We got back in it and took the lead, and then we're down three again. It just looked like it was never going to end.
"Usually (a bad outing) happens to a young pitcher, but usually it's the second time out. For him it was his third outing. He'll be better next time."
The Razorbacks (9-1) had plenty of runs in them, however. Arkansas plated four more in the fourth on a pair of errors, a fielder's choice and a James McCann RBI single to reclaim a 9-8 lead.
DJ Baxendale earned his third win of the season by pitching the final 4 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Panthers tied the game 9-9 on an error shortly after Baxendale entered the game, but wouldn't score again.
Baxendale allowed just one hit and no walks, while striking out five batters.
"I kind of settled down and found a little groove," Baxendale said. "They were attacking early in the count and my two-seam fastball was working down in the zone, and it was able to get me a couple of ground balls.
"The team battled back. It shows we have a lot of fight in us and we're never going to give up. We got down early and kept clawing our way back until we had the big explosive innings."
The Razorbacks took the lead for good on Tim Carver's sacrifice fly to score Sam Bates in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Reynolds added a solo home run in the sixth and Dominic Ficociello a two-run single in the eighth.
Ficociello, a freshman, finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with a career-high five RBIs. After a rough start to the season, Ficociello has 16 RBIs in the last five games.
"He did what he had to do for us today," Van Horn said. "He probably didn't think he had a good day at the plate, but he got three hits and knocked in five runs. He did what he could do to produce the runs."
Ficociello might have been more upset with his defense than offense. The first baseman committed one of the Razorbacks' six errors – the team's most since 2006.
"A lot of them were mental," Ficociello said. "The one I had was just not thinking on my part.
"That many errors can never happen again. That's a pretty crazy number."
Arkansas will go for its third consecutive weekend sweep Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Sophomore left-hander Cade Lynch will take the mound for the Razorbacks.