FAYETTEVILLE, AR (U of A)
– The University of Arkansas baseball team (14-14) stranded nine runners on base and Missouri State (18-7) scored a pair of fifth-inning runs to come away with a 2-0 victory Tuesday evening at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas pitchers did their job on the mound, allowing just six hits and striking out nine, but a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fifth inning proved to be the difference for Missouri State.
James Teague (1-2) tossed 4.0 innings, retired 10 straight batters and recorded a career-high five strikeouts before the Bears started a rally in the fifth inning and scored their only runs of the night. Keaton McKinney, Jackson Lowery and Lance Phillips combined to last 5.0 innings and give up three hits, while striking out four.
The Razorbacks had chances all night at the plate, stranding nine base runners, including eight of those in scoring position in the loss. Arkansas loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, but a Rick Nomura strikeout and Carson Shaddy groundout ended the threat.
Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-3 at the plate and reached base three times, while Luke Bonfield and Tyler Spoon each recorded a hit and worked a walk.
Arkansas returns to action this weekend, traveling to Auburn for a Friday-Sunday series with the Tigers at Plainsman Park. Saturday's game will be televised nationally on SEC Network at 6 p.m.
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn opening statement:
“There were three and four at bats with runners in scoring position with less than two outs and we didn't make contact. Give credit to their pitches but we didn't do a very good job either. The positive is that our pitchers held them to two runs and got us out of a couple of jams.”
Van Horn on Missouri State's starting pitcher:
“(Andy) Cheray he just threw that breaking ball early then he started throwing more fastballs. He walked four, gave up four hits and he just kept getting out of it. He kept getting out of jams. We hit some balls hard but they were right at them. We lined out to left two or three times. It's baseball, it's the way it works. You have to make things happen sometimes and we didn't do it.”
Arkansas outfielder Tyler Spoon on facing Auburn this weekend:
“We feel good coming off this weekend against Ole Miss. I feel like we played well as a team. I think the pitching staff has been unreal the past few weeks, just giving us a chance and pitching their butts off. I feel really good going into Auburn. I feel it'll be a big series for us.”