A&M Drops Front End of Arkansas Doubleheader, 9-5

Posted at 8:41 PM, Apr 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-30 21:41:26-04

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies were doomed by Arkansas’ four-run sixth inning and dropped a 9-5 decision to the Razorbacks in the lid lifter of Saturday’s doubleheader at Baum Stadium.

The Aggies pounced on the Razorbacks for three runs in the top of the first. With two outs, Boomer White punched a single to centerfield and Hunter Melton laced a single through the left side of the infield. Ryne Birk worked the count full and then deposited the sixth offering over the fence down the rightfield line for a three-run dinger. It was Birk’s fifth home run of the season.

Arkansas trimmed two runs off the lead in the bottom of the second. Cullen Gassaway drove a leadoff double to leftfield. After Chad Spanberger struck out swinging, the Razorbacks appeared headed to their second out of the inning when Michael Bernal hit a grounder to third base, but White’s throw to first skipped by Melton, giving Arkansas two runners in scoring position. Rick Nomura pushed both runners across by tight-roping a double down the rightfield line, cutting the A&M advantage to 3-2.

White staked the Aggies to a 4-2 lead in the top of the third when he launched a 1-2 offering into the stands in leftfield for a solo home run.

The Razorbacks tied the game in the home half of the third. Clark Eagan hit a leadoff single to centerfield and Carson Shaddy sent an equalizer over the fence in left-center for a two-run home.

Arkansas (26-16, 7-12 SEC) claimed its first lead of the game in the sixth. With one out, Bernal singled through the left side and Nomura hit his second double of the game, a gapper to right-center, to put two runners in scoring position. Tucker Pennell was walked on five pitches to load the bases and Austin Catron delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to push the go-ahead run across. Eagan cleared the bases with a triple to dead centerfield to inflate Arkansas’ cushion to 7-4 and he came home to score on a single by Luke Bonfield.

Texas A&M (33-9, 12-7 SEC) scored a run on a wild pitch in the seventh and the Razorbacks used four walks to tack on an insurance run in the eighth.

Aggie starter Brigham Hill worked 5.0 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits while striking out five. Vinson (1-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks while striking out one in 0.2 innings.

Dominic Taccolini (5-2) labored through 6.0 innings plus two batters in the seventh inning, but earned the win. He yielded five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out six. The Razorbacks’ bullpen scattered one hit and two walks in 3.0 scoreless innings.

Austin Homan led the Aggies with three hits. White, Melton and Nick Choruby added two apiece.

The Razorbacks churned out 13 hits, paced by Nomura who was 3-for-4 with one run, two doubles and two RBI. Eagan, Shaddy and Bonfield all had two hits. Eagan and Shaddy added two RBI apiece.

The second game of the doubleheader started at 6 pm Central.