Razorbacks Clinch Final Conference Series
Bo Bigham went 4-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored to lead Arkansas to a series-clinching 10-3 victory over Tennessee on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Arkansas improves to 38-17 overall with the win and 15-14 in league play. Tennessee is now 24-30 and 8-21 in league play after the loss.
For the second straight night, the Razorback offense had a double-digit hit total, finishing the game with 14 hits. Eight of Arkansas' nine starters had at least one hit in the win, led by Bigham's four hit effort. Bigham had a pair of doubles and a pair of singles in his fifth-career four-hit game. Bigham also had a RBI and two runs scored.
Brian Anderson, Sam Bates and Derrick Bleeker each had two hits in the win. Bleeker had a RBI, while Wise drove in two runs. Matt Reynolds saw his 10-game hitting streak come to an end, but he did extend his reached base streak to 38 straight games after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
Tennessee had 10 hits in the loss, led by Wes Walker's perfect 3-for-3 game at the plate. Chris Fritts and Zach Osborne each had a hit and a RBI for the Volunteers.
Arkansas reliever Cade Lynch (3-1) picked up the win. Lynch threw 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.
Trent Daniel closed the game by tossing two scoreless innings.
Razorback starter Ryne Stanek went just 0.2 of an inning and was lifted after getting hit in the right shoulder by a line drive off the bat of Drew Steckenrider. Stanek was later diagnosed with a bruised right shoulder.
Tennessee starter Nick Williams (3-5) suffered the loss. Williams gave up eight runs on 11 hits and struck out three in 5.1 innings.
Arkansas struck first with a run in the top of the second. Bates led off the inning with a bloop double into left-center field. A base hit to left by Anderson put runners at the corners with no outs. Williams picked off Anderson at first base, but he was able to stay in the run down long enough to allow Bates to score from third with the game's first run.
The Razorbacks tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Bigham began the inning with a single and was able to come around and score on a one-out triple down the right field line by Matt Vinson. A wild pitch scored Vinson to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Tennessee got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Maddox reached on a throwing error to start the inning and then advanced to third on a single by Osborne. Maddox came in to score on a double play off the bat of Morgan to trim the lead to 3-1.
Arkansas broke the game open with six runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Bates singled into right field. Anderson then doubled down the left field line and a fielding error by the Tennessee left fielder allowed Bates to score. Bleeker then scorched a single into center fielder to score Anderson from second base.
A double to left field by Bigham put runners on second and third. Wise cracked a single to center field to score both runners and stretch the lead to 7-1. With two out, Wise moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit to center by Tim Carver. Ficociello singled to put runners on the corners and a wild pitch scored Carver for the sixth run of the inning.
The Razorbacks added another run in the seventh when Bates drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a two-out double down the left field line by Bigham.
Tennessee closed the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Osborne drove in a run on a groundout to short, while Fritts had a RBI single to drive in the second run of the inning.
The Volunteers were unable to get any closer as Daniel pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to preserve the 10-3 win.
The Razorbacks and Volunteers close the regular season on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) in the finale of the three-game series. Arkansas will start junior southpaw Randall Fant (2-2, 3.96), while Tennessee will start sophomore right hander Zack Godley (4-2, 3.50).