COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks took game one of a three game series against the No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies Thursday at Blue Bell Park.
Chad Spanberger hit a two-run opposite field home run to give the Razorbacks a 6-4 advantage in the top of the 10th inning. It was the Hogs’ third extra-inning win of the year.
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) May 19, 2017
The Granite City, Illinois native went 1-of-4 at the plate on Thursday. Coming into the match-up, Spanberger had garnered three hits in 21 at-bats with one of those being a home run.
Texas A&M forced the game into extra innings when pitcher Jake Reindl walked lead off man Hunter Coleman. Then, Cole Bedford hit an RBI double to drive in Coleman and bring the Aggies within one. The game was tied after Jorge Gutierrez hit a sacrifice fly to allow Bedford to score and send the game to the 10th inning tied 4-4.
“We told our guys once they scored, ‘Let’s get in the dugout. We still have a chance. We’re out of school. Let’s stay here all night and do whatever we have to do,” said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. “We just wanted to relax them a little bit. Obviously, we got a big two-out single by our lead-off man, Jake Arledge. (Chad) Spanberger had a great at-bat and on the sixth or seventh pitch of the at-bat, he hits one over the top of that scoreboard, which was pretty amazing.”
Junior pitcher Trevor Stephan gave up a home run to Braden Shewmake in the third inning that gave the Aggies a 3-2 lead. But after the dinger, Stephan allowed just two hits over the next four innings and struck out six in the process before running into trouble in the eighth inning. He left the game after 7.2 innings pitched and 10 strikeouts and one walk, but he left with a no-decision.
Said Van Horn: “The story of the night, to me, was Trevor Stephan. He made one bad pitch after an error and gave up three runs on the home run and all of the sudden we were down. We just never got those big hits that gave us that big inning. (Texas A&M’s) pitching is really good and they did a great job of holding us down. It seemed like we left a lot on base. It was frustrating, but it’s how the game works sometimes. You just have to keep grinding it out.”