No. 9 Arkansas survived a potential second straight home opener loss with a 9-7 win over Grambling in a dramatic Tuesday game at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The Razorbacks trailed by five after the top of the fifth, but strong relief pitching from Koty Frank and Brady Tygart along with five unanswered runs helped propel the Hogs to victory in front of their first home crowd of the year.
Arkansas was 4-14 at the plate with runners in scoring position and it went 0-5 with two outs. The duo of Tavian Josenberger and Peyton Stovall combined to go 4-5 at the plate with three RBIs, three runs, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Frank and Tygart threw the final 4 2/3 innings to close out the game, and they held the Tigers scoreless in that stretch. Frank struck out three batters in the contest, and Tygart recorded four strikeouts and earned the win.
Here’s a recap of the Diamond Hogs’ first game in Fayetteville of the 2023 season.
Big freshman right-hander Ben Bybee started the game for the Diamond Hogs, and he gave up two earned runs on two hits, walked two and struck out three in two innings of work.
Senior lefty Zack Morris took over in the top of the third and he got hit hard in 1 2/3 innings pitched. By the time he was pulled in the fourth for right-hander Will McEntire, Morris had given up four earned runs on five hits while walking one and striking out two.
Arkansas added a run with a Jared Wegner sac-fly in the third inning, and it plated a pair of runs the next inning with a Jace Bohrofen RBI double and an RBI groundout from Parker Rowland that scored Bohrofen to make it a 6-3 Grambling lead after four.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the fifth, and righty reliever Koty Frank saved the day by inducing a 4-3 double play on his first pitch after he entered with bases loaded and one out.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Hogs scored two runs courtesy of an RBI single from Wegner and an RBI double courtesy of Brady Slavens. With bases loaded and one out, freshman Jayson Jones hit into a 6-3 double play to end the frame with the same fate as the Tigers in the top of the inning.
After cutting the Grambling lead to one in the bottom of the sixth, Peyton Stovall hit into the Hogs’ third inning-ending double play of the afternoon to keep the deficit at 7-6.
Frank worked his second straight scoreless inning and Arkansas tied things up at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth with a Jace Bohrofen sac-fly to center.
Two more sac-fly’s off the bats of Josenberger and Stovall gave Arkansas a 9-7 lead going into the top of the ninth. Tygart struck out two and shut the Tigers’ lineup down in the ninth to send Grambling home with a loss.
Up next, Arkansas will host Eastern Illinois for a weekend series starting Friday for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch. All three games will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus.