"We decided after the Georgia game that we'd run the foul poles every time we didn't get six runs and 10 hits in a game," Arkansas captain James McCann said. "So we ran after the game Sunday and we ran again tonight.
"Give them credit because they beat us. We had to go with some arms that we haven't used much this year, but the problem was that we didn't score enough runs against a team like that. We should have scored more than five."
McCann emphasized that the running wasn't an idea ordered by coaches. It was mandated within the leadership of the team.
"We voted to do it," McCann said. "It was all from the team. We ran a long time at Georgia. I finally had to say, 'Wait a minute guys. That's enough.' But we are going to do it for the rest of the year when we don't get 10 hits and six runs."
The Hogs (30-14) were in position to sweep SEMO (28-17) until they ran out of pitching. Freshman righthander Ryne Stanek left with a 5-3 lead through seven innings. A pair of walks ended up scoring in the first for SEMO, but McCann and freshman Franco Broyles each had two RBI to help the Hogs reclaimed the lead.
"Stanek settled down after that and pitched pretty good so that's why we left him in," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "But we ran out of arms in the late innings and they had their guys lined up. I knew it was going to be like this. That's why it was so important to win last night because we didn't have a lot of pitching ready for tonight. We pitched our older guys last night."
SEMO went with staff ace Jordan Underwood for the first three innings, then brought in lefty closer Logan Mahon for the final 2.1 innings. Mahon gave up two hits, but he had a pickoff in the eighth. He improved to 5-3 (with seven saves). He has given up just eight earned runs in 38 innings.
The Redhawks plated three runs in the eighth against Jeff Harvill and Colby Suggs to win it. Harvill didn't record an out, giving up a walk and a single. Suggs (2-1) was touched for three hits and gave up the loss.
"I thought we had a chance to win this game so that's disappointing," Van Hon said. "But tomorrow is a different day with a different team. We'll be alright. We'll be ready."
McCann promised the same thing.
"There are probably some who think we are the big underdog for this series with Florida," McCann said. "They are good. I played with a lot of their guys at the Cape (Cod League) last summer. They are very, very talented. I like them a lot. But we aren't rolling over. We will be ready to play them. We'll fight and see if we can get them. We are looking forward to playing them."
And trying to make sure there is no running to do at game's end.