Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Randall Fant struck out a career-high eight batters and allowed one run in six innings, while Brian Anderson had a pair of RBI to lead No. 12 Arkansas to a 2-1 series-clinching win on Sunday at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks, who have now won four of their six conference series, improve to 27-15 overall and 11-7 in league play. Texas A&M drops to 22-19 and 7-11 in league play after the loss.
Fant (3-1) earned his third victory of the season, fanning a career-high eight batters and giving up one run on two hits in six innings. Colby Suggs closed out the win with his fifth save of the season. Suggs fanned two of the three batters he faced in a perfect ninth inning.
Suggs led a strong effort from the Razorback bullpen, which combined to throw 3.0 innings of scoreless relief and allow just one hit. Landon Simpson tossed 1.2 shutout innings with only one hit allowed, while Trent Daniel came in and retired Texas A&M's Cole Lankford to get Arkansas out of a jam in the eighth inning.
Texas A&M starter Rafael Pineda (3-4) took the loss after allowing two runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
A night after recording 15 hits, the Arkansas offense continued to swing the bats well, recording 11 hits in the win. Eight of the nine Razorbacks starters had at least one hit led by Brett McAfee, Joe Serrano and Matt Vinson, who each had two hits in the win. Brian Anderson went 1-for-3 with two RBI. Dominic Ficociello, Jordan Farris, Jacob Mahan and Tyler Spoon also had one hit each.
Troy Stein hit his third homer of the season and had two hits with a RBI to lead the Aggies at the plate. Mikey Reynolds was 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter to account for Texas A&M's other hit of the contest.
Arkansas jumped out to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. With two out and a runner on second, Anderson lined a single to right, scoring Spoon from second base with the game's first run.
The Razorback lead was short lived after Stein sent a 1-0 offering from Fant over the wall in left field for a solo homer to tie the game at one.
Arkansas regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the third. The Razorbacks loaded the bases with one out for Anderson, who hit a sacrifice fly deep to right field to score McAfee from third base with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Neither team was able to plate another run over the final six innings. Arkansas had numerous chances to extend the lead over its final five at bats as the Razorbacks left six runners on base from the fourth to the eighth innings.
The Aggies had scoring opportunities in both the sixth and seventh innings, but timely double plays from the Arkansas defense thwarted any Texas A&M rallies.
Suggs entered to start the ninth and closed the door, retiring the side in order, including a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
Arkansas closes its four-game homestand on Tuesday as it hosts No. 13 Oklahoma. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. and the game will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Single-game reserved tickets are available for Tuesday's game and can be purchased by logging on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com, calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.
For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.