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Razorbacks’ rally overtakes Mississippi State to win series

Early pitching struggles overcome by bats behind three two-run homers in 9-6 win over Bulldogs in SEC home series.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Powered by three two-run homers, including Peyton Holt’s go-ahead blast in the sixth, No. 5 Arkansas (42-10, 19-8 SEC) scored nine unanswered runs to overcome a six-run deficit and pull out a thrilling 9-6 series-clinching win against No. 14 Mississippi State (33-18, 15-12 SEC) Sunday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium.

With Sunday’s victory, the Razorbacks have now won 10 consecutive SEC home weekend series since last season and 22 of their last 23 SEC home weekend series since the 2019 campaign. Arkansas, which has not lost a series to the Bulldogs in Fayetteville since 2007, is also 13-2 against Mississippi State with five consecutive weekend series wins since 2019.

Sunday’s win also ensured that Arkansas stays within one game of Kentucky in the overall SEC race and maintains its two-game lead over Texas A&M in the SEC Western Division with three games left to play in the regular season.

Mississippi State scored five runs in the second and added another in the third, opening a 6-0 run advantage to begin the series finale. Arkansas starter Mason Molina was tagged for four runs on four hits and a walk in his lone inning of work.

Gage Wood took over in relief of Molina and turned in three innings of two-run ball with three strikeouts, settling the game down and giving Arkansas an opportunity to regroup. The Hogs did exactly that, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth before tacking on three more in the fifth on Jayson Jones’ two-run shot and Jared Sprague-Lott’s RBI groundout.

Trailing 6-4 in the sixth, Hudson White cranked a two-run homer into the Hog Pen in left to tie the game. Later in the inning, Holt stepped up to the plate with two outs and mashed the Razorbacks’ third two-run home run of the day.

Holt’s go-ahead blast, his fourth homer of the season, gave Arkansas an 8-6 lead, leaving Mississippi State in stunned silence. Holt finished 3-for-4, including a double and homer, with two RBI to raise his season slash line to .325/.431/.458.

Mason Molina (Craven Whitlow / HitThatLine.com)

Ben McLaughlin extended the Hogs’ edge to three in the bottom of the seventh with his sacrifice fly, scoring Sprague-Lott from third. His RBI capped the Hogs’ nine-run rally, which began in the fourth and concluded in the seventh.

Christian Foutch (1.0 IP), Will McEntire (2.0 IP, 1 SO) and Gabe Gaeckle (2.0 IP, 3 SO) combined for five scoreless innings in relief of Molina and Wood, silencing the Bulldogs after their early six-run outburst. McEntire earned his second win of the series to improve to 5-0, while Gaeckle logged his seventh save of the season – and sixth of the multi-inning variety.

Up next, the Hogs will close out the regular season in College Station-Bryan, Texas. First pitch in the three-game series between SEC West Division foes Arkansas and Texas A&M is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN2.

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ESPN ARKANSAS 99.5 IN FAYETTEVILLE, 95.3 IN THE RIVER VALLEY, 96.3 IN HOT SPRINGS, 104.3 IN HARRISON-MOUNTAIN HOME.