Jace Bohrofen

Arkansas junior Jace Bohrofen celebrates a home run with teammates Tuesday. The Razorbacks defeated UALR in that game but lost to the Trojans the next day.


The No. 5 Arkansas baseball team traded blowout victories with UALR in a midweek series at Baum-Walker Stadium. After losing 21-5 Tuesday, the Trojans handed the Razorbacks their first non-conference loss — an 11-4 decision — since Feb. 26 against Eastern Illinois.

“Baseball, what a humbling game,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said Wednesday. You’ve got to show up, you’ve got to play defense and you’ve got to throw strikes. And yesterday, Little Rock didn’t do it and today, we didn’t do it.”

On Tuesday, the Trojans jumped on starter Cody Adcock for two runs in the top of the first. Third baseman Nico Baumbach got credit for a run-scoring fielder's choice after a 4-6-3 double play was overturned on replay. Left fielder Luke Pectol doubled the lead with an RBI single before Arkansas came to bat.

The lead did not last long, as the entire Trojan pitching staff struggled to find the strike zone. Both starter Chance Vaught and reliever Camden Sargent both failed to get out of the first inning, issuing three walks apiece.

Junior designated hitter Jace Bohrofen and junior third baseman Caleb Cali’s run-scoring singles quickly tied the game at two. All told, 14 hitters came to the plate with seven walks in the 50-minute first inning, and the Razorbacks turned a two-run deficit into a 9-2 lead.

Armed with the lead, Adcock fought his way through three scoreless innings, turning in four innings of two-run ball with one strikeout. Arkansas’ offense showed no mercy, scoring multiple runs the next three innings. A Bohrofen two-run homer to left in the third put the game at 13-2 and stretched the streak to 28 games with at least one Razorback longball.

In perhaps a fitting end to the evening, junior left fielder Hunter Grimes hit a sacrifice fly behind the 14th and 15th walks of the night to cap off a 21-5 win.

Van Horn called on freshman Sean Fitzpatrick to finish the last six outs of the seven-inning game, marking the lefty’s first appearance since Feb. 18. The freshman worked around two hits and two walks to turn in a scoreless performance.

Perhaps in the most amusing moment of the night, Fitzpatrick, who does not have an at-bat this year, was due to hit next when the bottom of the sixth ended. Junior Ben McLaughlin, the previous pitcher who hit in place of the designated hitter, was on deck in his place, although not legally.

“I’m pretty sure the way the rule reads, once he comes out of the game, he’s gone,” Van Horn said. “So we were going to see if we’d get by with it. If not, we were going to have to figure it out from there. We didn’t get to find out, did we?”

A night of sleep did little to cool off the Arkansas bats. The Hogs powered their way to an early 3-0 lead in the second after a Bohrofen leadoff homer. The Oklahoma City native’s eight homers are tied for second on the team with sophomore designated hitter Kendall Diggs, who walked in front of another home run by senior first baseman Brady Slavens.

UALR did not go quietly into the night, immediately tying the game in the third. The first three batters reached against freshman starter Ben Bybee leading to the first run. A costly error on a grounder that snuck under Slavens’ glove allowed another run to score. Pectol then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score.

After nine innings of resounding success for Hog bats, Trojan pitching finally settled in. Austin Stubber and Jacob Weatherley only allowed only one hit across the next four innings.

Instead, it was Arkansas’ pitching and defense that broke down in the sixth. Sophomore Austin Ledbetter allowed a walk and a single to put two on with no outs.

With the bases loaded and one out, the right-hander attempted to throw home on a ball hit back to the mound, but he slipped, and the ball went to the backstop, allowing the go-ahead runs to score. UALR stretched the lead to three on an RBI groundout by shortstop Alex Seguine.

“It's baseball, I mean it happens,” junior center fielder Tavian Josenberger said. “Obviously we wouldn’t like it to happen, but errors come, errors go. I think we’re going to bounce back, we’re going to clean it up and we’ll be ready for this weekend.”

With the Razorback lineup remaining dormant, the Trojans added four insurance runs in the seventh, capped off by catcher Jake Wright’s two-run homer and one more run in the eighth to seal the victory.

Perhaps the most important development from the two games is the availability of graduate left fielder Jared Wegner, who was diagnosed with a hairline fracture on his left thumb after sliding into third base in the first inning Tuesday. Van Horn said there is a 50-50 chance he will play Friday.

“He’s a tough guy,” Slavens said. “To break your thumb and still have a chance to play is crazy. That just tells you everything you need to know about Jared.”

Arkansas will now look to bounce back against 16th-ranked Tennessee in a weekend series at Baum Walker Stadium. Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday on SEC Network.

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