San Francisco 2, Arkansas 1
Jalen Beeks, junior lefty from Prairie Grove, was the hard luck loser, pitching a complete game for the Hogs, allowing just four hits, all of them in the fourth inning.
No. 24 Arkansas (7-3) had lost a doubleheader on Saturday after winning its first seven starts. The Hogs face Tulane at 3:30 p.m. (Central) Saturday in the second game of the Cal Classic.
Behind a dominating performance from pitcher Abe Bobb and some late inning defensive heroics, the Dons (6-6) won its first ever meeting with Arkansas.
The Hogs mustered only six hits, three by Tyler Spoon. It wasn't enough to back a solid performance by Beeks.
"He pitched well enough to win," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He had one inning where he got into trouble and made a mistake with two outs, and that was one of the few mistakes he made. We didn't back him up very well with the offense. It goes back to putting together some timely hits."
It was a case of not getting a timely hit.
"We only scored one run and had a couple of opportunities," Van Horn said. "They got a big two-out hit to score their second run. We couldn't get the big two-out hit.
"They made a great play in the eighth. The ball was hit hard up the middle and the pitcher got just enough of his glove on it to knock it down to the second baseman, who made an incredibly nice diving play.
"That's the way it goes. We had a couple of other opportunities and we didn't do much. It was a disappointing day for us offensively, and we need to get it going."
After a shaky first inning, Bobb (2-1) settled down and went seven innings to pick up his second straight decision and kept the Razorbacks off balance much of the afternoon. He threw five straight shutout innings, allowing one run on five hits and retired 10 straight batters between the first and fourth innings and 13 of 14 batters through the fifth.
The Razorbacks had a golden opportunity in the eighth inning to tie the game. With USF up 2-1, Arkansas had runners on first and second with two outs and Krisjohn Wilkerson hit a bullet off the glove of Houston Hibberd. It was saved from going up the middle on a dive by Michael Eaton, who flipped it to Giarratano to end the inning.
With two outs in the first, Arkansas started a rally that began with a single by Brian Anderson. After an infield single and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Eric Fisher came to the plate but Bobb was able to get him to pop out to Bob Cruikshank to end the inning.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth when the Dons got on the board.
Nico Giarratano singled to lead off the inning and after a sacrifice bunt and walk set up first and second with one out, Zack Turner singled to left to score the freshman shortstop and give the Dons a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Bob Cruikshank ripped a single to center, scoring Turner, and gave USF a two-run lead.
Beeks had only given up one run in 17.2 innings entering the game on Friday and gave up two (one earned) against the Dons. Beeks (3-1), who threw 100 pitches, also threw the first complete game for Arkansas since 2011.
Arkansas finally broke through in the sixth. With two outs and a runner on first, Krisjon Wilkerson hit a double down the first base line to cut the Dons lead to 2-1.
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