It was too little too late for the Diamond Hogs in the bottom of the 9th against South Alabama in the first game of the doubleheader Saturday. The Hogs threatened in the 9th by plating one, but were unable to tie the game up.
South Alabama's starting pitcher Locke St. John gave up seven hits to the Hogs, but kept them off the scoreboard in his 8 1/3 innings of work. The Hogs got their only run from a sac-fly by Brett McAfee, but it left Arkansas down to their final out. Blake Baxendale pinch hit for the struggling Jake Wise, but Bax flew out to center to end the game.
Chris Oliver had another solid start. He went five innings and allowed only one run. He probably could have thrown more, but his pitch count had already reached 93.
The Jaguars drew first blood in the 5th. Adam Bellew singled to start the inning. Matt Bolger moved him over to second on a sac bunt and Cameron Cummings lined him home with a single. South Alabama scored an insurance run in the 7th that they ultimately needed. Erik Hindmon walked to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Ballew. Hindman scored two batters later on an error by McAfee at shortstop.
The Razorback offense didn't give us much to talk about. Krisjon Wilkerson was the one bright spot. He was 2-2 with two singles and two walks. Michael Bernal's double was the only extra base hit for the Hogs. He went 2-3 at the plate. Andrew Benintendi, Tyler Spoon, Eric Fisher, and McAfee all had one single.
Baseball, as is life, can be unfair at times. Zach Jackson was the losing pitcher for the Hogs, despite his 2 2/3 innings in relief without allowing an earned run. He was on the mound when McAfee's error allowed the second run for the Jags to score.
The Hogs look to win the series in the rubber match about to start, well, right now actually.