Hauskey delivers game winner in 11th
FAYETTEVILLE – With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, pinch hitter Tom Hauskey delivered his second-game winning hit of the season to send the No. 7 University of Arkansas baseball team to a 4-3 win over New Mexico Tuesday night at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks trailed by two runs in the 10th inning and completed their come-from-behind victory with Hauskey’s base hit to right field.
"(Hauskey) handles the situation," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "He doesn’t try to do too much. He just takes what the pitcher gives him and he’s done a great job for us."
Bo Bigham led off the 11th frame with his fourth hit of the night, tying a career high. Zack Cox followed with a single to right that allowed Bigham to advance to third. After an intentional walk to Andy Wilkins, the bases were loaded with no outs. New Mexico reliever Gera Sanchez recorded the first out by striking out Brett Eibner, but couldn’t get past Hauskey who lined the ball into right field to give Arkansas (27-6) its seventh win in a row.
Making his first career start at Arkansas, DJ Baxendale quieted the high-powered New Mexico offense during his five-inning outing. Entering the game, the Lobos carried a .346 team batting average, but Baxendale limited the visitors to two hits. The right-handed freshman struck out five New Mexico hitters and surrendered just one walk. Baxendale did not factor into Tuesday’s decision.
New Mexico starter Richard Olson matched Baxendale and held the Razorbacks scoreless through the first five innings before running into trouble and, eventually, being chased from the ballgame in the sixth. He retired the first two hitters in the sixth but Kreder opened the door for the Arkansas offense with a double to left center.
In the bottom of the sixth, Monk Kreder knocked a two-out double to the wall in left center field. He came around to score the game’s first run on an RBI base hit to center by Travis Sample. The single extended Sample’s hitting streak to nine games. Tim Carver followed with a double down the line in left field and after James McCann was plunked by New Mexico reliever Edwin Carl, the bases were loaded. The Lobos got out of the inning when Sample tried to score on a ball in the dirt but was cut down at the plate for the final out.
Kreder finished the game 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. He bumped his season batting average to .318. Also swinging a hot bat, Sample was 2-for-3 and now has six multi-hit games in his last seven outings.
With one out in the top of the seventh, New Mexico (21-12) strung together a single and double by Rafael Neda and Cameron Smith, respectively, to put runners on second and third. Max Willett, the Lobos’ next hitter, lifted a fly ball to right field but it was too shallow to score the run from third. Jacob Nelson grounded out to third for the last out and the Hogs dodged potential damage without allowing a run.
However, the Lobos pushed a run across the plate in their half of the eighth. Daniel Gonzalez drew a walk from TJ Forrest to lead off the inning and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Adam Courcha drove in the run with a double to right center. With no outs, the Hogs turned to Mike Bolsinger out of the bullpen. Bolsinger retired the next three in order with the help of two strikeouts.
Both teams put a runner on in the ninth with a pair of two-out singles but any attempts at a rally were cut short. Cox gave the Baum Stadium crowd a momentary jolt when he lifted a ball to deep center field but Willett made the catch at the wall for the final out of the ninth to send the ballgame into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, New Mexico loaded the bases when its first three hitters reached by way of two singles and a hit by pitch. Bolsinger, on in his third inning of relief work, struck out Kenny Held for the first out, but the Lobos scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Honeycutt. New Mexico tacked on another run to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the frame.
Wilkins led off the Hogs’ 10th with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Carl. After a single by Kreder, Arkansas had runners on first and third and Matt Vinson came through with an RBI single that plated Wilkins. Later in the inning, McCann tied the game with a base hit to left and Vinson came around from second with the game-tying run.
"One sign of a good team is being able to come back," Van Horn said. "We’ve done that a lot and I feel like we have a pretty good club. We’re not going to do it every time but we sure battle."
Jeremy Heatley pitched a scoreless 11th with a pair of strikeouts to pick up the win. He is now 4-0 this season, while Sanchez falls to 2-2.
Game two of the midweek series between Arkansas and New Mexico is set for a 6:35 p.m. start Wednesday at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks will hand the ball to LHP Geoffrey Davenport (2-2, 4.29 ERA), while New Mexico will counter with LHP Kenny Toves (2-0, 2.57 ERA).