Diamond Hogs rally to remain unbeaten
Posted: February 23, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas' offense has struggled to produce consistently, but its bats have come through late early this year.
The No. 25 Razorbacks took the lead with a pair of RBIs in the seventh inning and scored four runs with two outs in the eighth inning to rally past the Panthers 8-3 at Baum Stadium. Arkansas swept the three-game series and improved to 6-0 this season.
Sunday's game was nearly a repeat of one Saturday when the Razorbacks scored five runs with two outs in the eighth inning to win 8-3. Arkansas had blown a 3-0 lead late in that game and blew a 2-0 lead late Sunday.
Eastern Illinois scored three runs and stranded the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead.
Arkansas reliever Dominic Taccolini hit a pair of batters to start the top of the seventh and the Panthers loaded the bases with no outs when Anderson couldn't handle a throw covering first base on a bunt.
Eric Fisher forced out a runner at home plate for the first out of the inning, but Eastern Illinois pulled within 2-1 when Landon Simpson walked Brant Valach with the bases loaded. The Panthers took the lead on Demetre Taylor's 2-run single with two outs.
Andrew Benintendi and Joe Serrano reached in the bottom of the inning with consecutive walks. Benintendi scored on a RBI single by Anderson and Serrano scored on a sacrifice fly RBI by Brett McAfee to give the Razorbacks a 4-3 lead.
Arkansas extended its lead in the eighth. Eastern Illinois intentionally walked Anderson to face Spoon with two outs in the inning.
Spoon hit a 1-0 fastball into the gap in left-center field, scoring all three runners with a stand-up double. Spoon scored on a double by McAfee in the next at-bat to cap the scoring.
Eastern Illinois loaded the bases against Michael Gunn in the ninth inning, but McAfee and Anderson turned a double play to end the game.
Arkansas took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Bobby Wernes walked and Benintendi followed with a 2-run home run into the bullpen in right field to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.
Alex Phillips struggled starting for the second straight Sunday. He worked around a bases-loaded jam in the second inning but didn't return for the third.
Zach Jackson, another freshman right-hander, pitched three scoreless innings in relief. Jacob Stone stranded the bases loaded in the seventh inning and worked a perfect eighth to record his first career win.