Bohrofen, Smith Carry Hogs to Series-Opening Win over Aggies
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jace Bohrofen came through with the go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to lift No. 7 Arkansas (31-11, 12-7 SEC) past Texas A&M (25-17, 9-10 SEC), 7-5, on Thursday night at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Bohrofen’s game-winning blast helped the Razorbacks snap their season-long four-game losing streak. The Hogs will look to clinch their fourth SEC home weekend series win of the season in tomorrow night’s game against the Aggies.
Arkansas was all over Texas A&M starter Troy Wansing, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. John Bolton’s RBI single with the bases loaded set the table for Peyton Stovall’s two-out, two-strike grand slam later in the frame.
Staked with a five-run lead, Razorback starter Hunter Hollan battled for four innings. The left-hander was lifted after allowing four runs on six hits and two walks as the Aggies fought back to close their deficit to one in the fourth.
Texas A&M tied the game in the top half of the fifth on a sacrifice fly after back-to-back single to start the inning. Reliever Dylan Carter would escape without further damage, however, before handing the ball off to Hagen Smith.
Smith was superb in relief, emerging from the bullpen in the sixth and tossing four shutout innings. The Razorbacks’ wildcard struck out four while allowing just two hits and issuing two free passes during his lockdown appearance.
Left fielder Hunter Grimes gave Smith a lift with the defensive play of the game. Grimes recorded an outfield assist in the top of the eighth, catching a fly ball in left and firing home to beat the runner and turn a run-saving double play.
Smith’s work on the mound as well as Grimes’ defensive wizardry in left paved the way for Bohrofen’s heroics at the plate in the bottom of the eighth. After Caleb Cali’s leadoff walk, the Razorback captain hit an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right to put Arkansas up for good.
Smith sat down Texas A&M in order in the top of the ninth to preserve Arkansas’ 7-5 series-opening win. The sophomore earned the win to improve to 6-1 and lowered his season ERA to a team-best 2.64 over 47 2/3 innings.
Bohrofen finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run and two RBI to raise his team-leading slash line to .372/.494/.693 on the season. He also drew a walk, recording one of the Razorbacks’ 14 base on balls in the win.
First pitch in the second game of the series between the Hogs and Aggies is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, April 28, on ESPNU with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Chris Burke (analyst) on the call from inside Baum-Walker Stadium.