FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas baseball team won a game on Tuesday, but may have lost a key reliever.
Pitcher Geoffrey Davenport injured his left elbow on the last pitch of the top of the eighth inning, marring a 4-2 win over Kansas before 3,433 fans at Baum Stadium.
"It didn't look good," Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said. "Just finding out some of the details of what went on before the last pitch. I think he kind of felt something the pitch before so that is not a good sign.
"We will get an MRI here this evening or the first thing in the morning," Van Horn added. "But it didn't look good and I'll be surprised if it is not torn."
The junior lefty was 3-1 with a 5.21 ERA entering the game, but was 2-0 with a 1.12 coming out of the bullpen and seemed destined for that role.
"He was like our middle relief bulldog guy - like the fifth to the seventh or the sixth to the eighth to get to the closer," Van Horn said. "It's disappointing. I feel bad for him. Again we don't know what is going on, maybe it's a strain, but we will probably know a lot more tomorrow."
Arkansas starting pitcher Ryne Stanek (2-0), a third-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2010 MLB draft, got the win by going the first four innings.
The freshman gave up one run on three hits, fanned three and walked one while going 66 pitches, 45 of which were strikes.
"In high school I was able to throw fastballs by everybody if I got in trouble, but here I have got to be a lot smarter and pitch backwards a little bit," Stanek said. "Throw the curveball for a strike and today was a better job."
Stanek hated to see what happened to Davenport.
"It's tough and as a pitcher you never want to see an injury," Stanek said. "Hopefully it is nothing serious and he'll be able to get back out here this year. He's in our prayers."
Fanning three and walking one, he was backed by Collin Kuhn's two-run single in the third and Kyle Robinson's solo homer and Sam Bates' RBI single in the fourth.
"I felt pretty fortunate to win," Van Horn said. "It was a pretty vanilla game, boring actually."
Robinson's blast was his fourth of the season.
"Coming in here we weren't going to let the long road trip (back from California) and the hour time change be a factor," Robinson said. "Find a way to win. It wasn't by any means our best game or our prettiest game, but we found a way to win."
His blast did however come on a beautiful swing.
"After the first at-bat when I popped up the first baseman, I talked to (hitting) Coach (Todd) Butler and he said just let it fly and be aggressive," Robinson said. "In that second at-bat that is what I did. I saw the first pitch, had a aggressive swing and I was fortunate enough to get a good pitch and hit it out."
The win came after a day after getting back from San Diego State, where the Razorbacks downed the Aztecs in three out of four games.
"We tried to get them going and have been working on them since the game was over on Sunday," Van Horn said. "I knew it would be a little bit sluggish. Basically all I told them was just find a way to win the game and that's what they did."
Zach Hall, Randall Fant, Davenport and Nolan Sanburn finished up on the mound.
Kansas had five hits in the game and starter Alex Cox (0-1) took the loss for the Jayhawks.
"The plan was just about what we thought," Van Horn said. "About four innings for Stanek, needed Hall to give us an inning – it wasn't a real pretty one – and then we had the three to finish up."
Arkansas now opens SEC play with a three-game set at Auburn (11-5) this weekend.
"The race begins," Van Horn said. "The SEC is the toughest league in the country. Let's see who can last."