FAYETTEVILLE — The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs forced a rubber match with their 12-7 win over the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The loss is the first for the Diamond Hogs in 2019, and it also snaps a 10-game home winning streak Arkansas possessed since the 2018 NCAA Fayetteville Super Regional.
The key stat that encapsulates the Razorbacks’ loss is the 11 base runners they stranded.
“It’s frustrating,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. “You have to see the ball up. Wrong guy at the plate, but it’s been a little bit of everybody, honestly. There’s guys that have to do a better job of getting the bat on the ball and driving a run in. We talked about it after the game. It was frustrating today.”
Starting pitcher Connor Noland had his longest outing of the season with five innings. Noland was pulled in the sixth inning with just one run allowed on one hit. The former Greenwood Bulldog struck out three batters.
“I’m just thinking about having a good start, helping us get a lead, let the offense swing the bats and put zeroes on the board,” said Noland on his longest start of the season. “I’m not too worried about the win-loss column. I just want to have good starts and efficient outings.”
Eight of the 12 runs La. Tech scored came after Noland exited the game. Arkansas led 5-1 at the top of the sixth inning, but the Bulldogs got a runner through an error and followed up with a single to put two on and no one out. Mason Mallard hit a three-run home run for the Bulldogs to make the score 5-4. After Kole Ramage relieved Noland, the reliever gave up a two-out solo dinger followed by an RBI single that gave the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead.
Said Van Horn: “The disappointing part of the game for me was our bullpen. A couple of veteran guys didn’t come in and shut them down, which was disappointing.”
The Hogs take on the Dogs Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Baum-Walker Stadium. Pregame for the rubber match begins at 12:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1400 AM.