HOUSTON – DJ Baxendale pitched five strong innings to earn his fourth win of the season as No. 4 Arkansas defeated No. 21 Texas, 7-3, on Sunday afternoon inside Minute Maid Park.
The Razorbacks closed the weekend by going 2-1 at the Houston College Classic. For the season, Arkansas is 11-2, while Texas is now 4-7.
Baxendale earned his fourth win in as many starts and his sixth straight win dating back to last season, giving up two runs, just one earned, and striking out four in five innings of work.
Nolan Sanburn and Barrett Astin came out of the bullpen to finish off the win. Sanburn pitched two innings, giving up a run on four hits. Astin pitched the final two to earn his third save of the season. Astin retired all six batters he faced, striking out four.
Bo Bigham and Joe Serrano each had two hits to lead Arkansas offensively. Bigham scored a run, while Serrano added a RBI and a run scored. Matt Reynolds hit his second homer of the season and Dominic Ficociello drove in a pair of runs. Tim Carver extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Jonathan Walsh had a team-high three hits with a RBI and a run scored to pace Texas offensively. Erich Weiss added two hits in the loss.
Arkansas struck first with two runs in the top of the first. Carver and Jimmy Bosco started the game with back-to-back singles and a double to the left-center field gap by Ficociello brought in both runners to put the Razorbacks up 2-0.
Texas got a run back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Brooks Marlow walked and moved to second when Jacob Felts reached on a fielding error by Reynolds at third. After a strikeout by Collin Shaw, Kirby Bellow grounded a single into left field, scoring Marlow from second base.
The Longhorns tied the game with a run in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Weiss doubled into the left field corner and Walsh followed with a double into right field to score Weiss and tie the game at two
The Razorbacks regained the lead with a run in the top of the fourth. With one out, Reynolds sent a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field for his second homer of the season to put Arkansas in front 3-2.
Arkansas added on to the lead with four runs in the top of the fifth. Bigham led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carver. A wild pitch advanced Bigham to third. Bosco then hit a ground ball to first. The first baseman's throw home was wide, allowing Bigham to score and sending Bosco to second on the fielder's choice. Ficociello was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Serrano then came up to pinch hit and singled to right field, scoring Bosco from second. A passed ball advanced Ficociello to third and Serrano to second. After an intentional walk to Reynolds loaded the bases, Vinson drew a walk to score Ficociello. Jacob Morris then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Serrano and put Arkansas in front 7-2.
Texas got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Walsh led off with a single and moved to second on a walk. Felts grounded into a double play to put a runner at third with two outs. A wild pitch from Sanburn scored Walsh for the Longhorn's third run.
Astin entered the game with two runs on and nobody out in the bottom of the eighth and proceeded to quickly dash any hopes of a Texas comeback. He struck out two of the next three batters to get out of the inning and then in the ninth, Astin added two more strikeouts to complete the save.
Arkansas returns home to open a 10-game homestand next Friday when it faces Binghamton in the first game of a three-game series. Game times against the Bearcats are set for 3:05 p.m. on Friday, 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.
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