Arkansas had a shot to lock down an SEC regular-season title Friday night in Nashville and blew an 8-2 lead in the eighth inning and a 10-8 loss. The Razorbacks were cruising into the eighth and the SEC Network jinxed the whole thing, talking about locking down the title and making Sunday’s game “a wash.”
All of that was before the Hogs’ pitching couldn’t get anybody out and they tried just about everybody available. Dave Van Horn really did everything he could to get a win in that game. Now Saturday’s series final at 2 p.m. on SEC Network+ to decide a lot.
The loss kept the Hogs from getting a 40th overall win (now 39-14 overall, 20-9 in the SEC). As usual, things across the league will come down to the final day of the season before the league tournament.
Brady Tygart started and threw 62 pitches over four innings and gave up just two hits and a couple of earned runs and struck out seven, but didn’t walk anybody. After that it was a free-for-all.
The Razorbacks got started early with the second batter of the game, Jace Bohrofen, laced a home run, which was followed by a walk from Jared Wegner, a single by Kendall Diggs and Caleb Cali hit a double that scored another run. Diggs was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.
Brady Slavens made it 3-0 driving in Cali with a single before the Commodores could figure a way out of the inning.
Vanderbilt finally got on the board with a third-inning massive home run by T.J. McKenzie was followed by two in a row as Enrique Bradfield that cut the lead to 3-2. Both homers cleared the big wall in left field and were the first signs of trouble Tygart has really seen since making his return from elbow surgery a couple of weeks ago.
In the fourth inning, Slavens got a one-out double that was followed by Holt’s double to score him, making it a 4-2 lead.
Holt blasted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth over all the stands in left-center field that scored Diggs and Cali, who had delivered back-to-back singles. That gave the Hogs a little 7-2 lead.
In the eighth inning, Holt (who else lately?) had a pitch glaze his arm, then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Bryce Cunningham and made another headfirst slide into home on a single by John Wood for an 8-2 lead.
Gage Wood came into the game in the eighth and promptly helped contribute to creating his own mess of a bases-loaded situation with one out. First, he knocked a ball down in self-defense and failed to take control of a bunt that was popped up to the side of the pitcher’s mound. He caught a break on a blooper into center where John Bolton and Peyton Holt ran into each other, but Bolton managed to make a catch, but they scored to cut the lead to 8-3.
The Commodores then loaded the bases again with one out and Wood walked in a run hitting a batter and the tying run came to the plate. Van Horn sort of dragged out bringing in Cody Adcock, who promptly walked in another run. Vandy got a single to make things interesting and cut the lead to one, 8-7.
Van Horn moved quickly to bring in Parker Coil and his first pitch was deposited over the center-field wall by Troy LaNeve for a grand-slam homer and a 10-8 lead. The Commodores rang up eight runs in the eighth.
The Hogs got a single in the ninth and Kendall Diggs was robbed of a homer to center by Enrique Bradfield, Jr., but the Commodores made the lead hold up to lock down a bye in the SEC Tournament next week.