FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Midweek baseball games can funky. Tuesday showed that when Arkansas needed a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to get past a SWAC opponent.
The Diamond Hogs trailed Alcorn State heading into the seventh inning by a run. A Jake Arledge sacrifice fly tied things and at least gave Razorbacks hitters a chance to win it in the final few.
When neither the Braves lineup nor Arkansas’ could do anything in the eighth and top of the ninth, it came to Arledge again.
Arkansas’ senior centerfielder knocked an RBI single through the right side to score Cannon Chadwick for the game-winning run, 3-2.
Yes, that Cannon Chadwick. The relief pitcher Cannon Chadwick. He was forced to hit after Arkansas (13-4) gave up its designated hitter when Grant Koch, the starting DH, moved to catch for Alex Gosser. That meant the pitcher’s spot would take over in Gosser’s 8-hole. It was Chadwick. He drew a one-out walk to start the game-changing sequence, went to second a Jax Biggers single and then scored from second on Arledge’s game-winner.
On the mound he was sharp, too. He went the final 1 1/3 innings and didn’t give up a base-runner, while striking out one. He did throw a single wild pitch.
His was the best day of the four Arkansas pitchers who went. Dominic Taccolini started and lasted four innings, giving up five hits and a run. Taccolini didn’t walk anyone, though, which was another positive sign to his return-to-form.
Alcorn State (6-9) scored in the third and sixth on an RBI groundout and a triple to rightfield. Arkansas scored the first run of the game in the second inning when an infield fly was dropped, allowing Jordan McFarland to come in from third.
The two teams play again Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Arkansas then prepares for its SEC-opening series against Mississipi State on the weekend.