Little Rock (LR) baseball lost 11-2 to the Arkansas Razorbacks in an exhibition at Gary Hogan Field on Friday.
Despite it only being an exhibition, the game was a historic event for both schools and drew a crowd of 1,349. Arkansas broke with a longstanding tradition to not play fellow in-state schools and further scheduled a competitive game versus the Trojans on April 2 in Fayetteville. For LR, the game was a chance to measure the team’s ability against a top opponent in the Razorbacks, last year’s national runner-up in the College World Series.
Missed opportunities ruled the game for the Trojans. Despite putting runners in scoring position, the Trojans failed to bring the runners in, leaving men on base in multiple innings.
LR pitched a quick top-half of the first inning, allowing one walk on four batters. Despite a two-out double in the bottom of the first from senior Riley Pittman, the Trojans couldn’t capitalize, with the inning ending on a groundout.
Arkansas quickly took advantage of LR’s missed opportunity, notching three runs in the top of the second and another run in the third after an error from the Trojans.
The bottom of the third started promising for LR, with the first two Trojan batters reaching base on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. An infield single brought the bases loaded with no outs, but Arkansas junior pitcher Isaiah Campbell pitched out of the jam, surrendering no runs.
Again, the Razorbacks took advantage of LR’s failure to score in the third, notching another run in the top of the fourth to make the score 5-0.
The Trojans finally recorded a run in the fourth with a solo homer by senior outfielder Troy Alexander, bringing the Trojans within four.
After retiring the Razorbacks in the top of the fifth, LR put a runner in scoring position with two outs. Like previous innings, the Trojans failed to bring the run home.
Arkansas added another run in the sixth to bring the score to 6-1.
LR’s offense responded in the seventh with a leadoff double from senior Christian Reyes. Fellow senior Chase Coker scored Reyes to bring the Trojans back within four with two innings to play.
Arkansas started the eighth inning with three straight hits, bringing home two more runs in the process. Junior McKinley Moore, pitching in relief, gave up a run on a bases-loaded walk, but pitched LR out of danger and avoided the big inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, LR got another runner in scoring position with one out, but two straight strikeouts ended LR’s chance at adding another run to the board.
In the top of the ninth, LR surrendered two more runs, effectively ending LR’s hopes of a comeback at 11-2.
Despite the loss, the game allowed LR coach Chris Curry the opportunity to see his team in action and several members of his pitching staff in tough situations.
Next up, LR will travel to Mississippi to face Ole Miss in another exhibition on Oct. 27.