The Razorbacks' sophomore right-hander was called on once again Wednesday to bail his team out of a bind, stranding two runners in the ninth inning as Arkansas beat Gonzaga 5-3 at Baum Stadium.
It was the third straight game Astin has closed for the No. 4 Razorbacks (16-2) and his fifth save this season.
"That's my job and I just try to come in and shut things down," Astin said. "I was just focused on making good pitches and letting my defense work and it is working out.
"I was a little tired to be honest, but I just tried to stay with my mechanics and make good pitches."
Outfielder Marco Gonzales pulled the Bulldogs within 5-3 with a RBI single off Astin, but Gonzaga could do no more. Hunter was thrown out at third by Astin on a bunt attempt for the first out before a groundout and a lineout ended the game.
Astin needed only nine pitches to record three outs.
"He's a great pitcher and he had good stuff today; he had great stuff last night," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "It was a quick turnaround without much rest and he wanted the ball if we needed him. He was down there waiting, ready to roll.
"I probably should have put him out there a hitter earlier, but we wanted to see if Wright could get an out."
Arkansas jumped out 2-0 with a pair of RBIs by Jacob Mahan and Derrick Bleeker in the fourth inning and extended its lead with a pair of two-out RBIs by Sam Bates and Matt Reynolds in the fifth.
After Tim Carver hit into a double play to give Arkansas two outs in the inning, Jimmy Bosco followed with a single and Gonzaga pitcher Karl Meyers intentionally walked Dominic Ficociello.
Bates followed with a RBI single to left field, scoring Bosco. After the Bulldogs brought Sean-Luke Brija out of the bullpen, Reynolds lined a two-run single into right-center to give the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead.
"You almost take it as a diss," Reynolds said. "It's like they're saying, ‘He's a harder out, so we're going to go after this guy,' and you go up there with a chip on your shoulder because you want to make them pay for that so they don't do it again. It's a shot to your confidence and it's about how you respond to it."
Gonzaga (10-5) scored its first runs of the midweek series on Royce Bolinger's two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning. The hit off Arkansas reliever Greg Milhorn snapped a 28 1/3-inning scoreless streak by Razorbacks pitchers.
Arkansas beat Gonzaga 1-0 on Tuesday.
"We got out of some jams there yesterday and early today," Van Horn said. "Our pitchers did a good job of enticing a double-play ball and just making pitches at the right time.
"You're going to give up a run here or there – it just happens. So to go 28-plus innings without giving one up is pretty special."
Brandon Moore earned his second win of the season by pitching three scoreless innings in relief of Arkansas starter Trent Daniel. Gonzaga starter Zach Abbruzza was charged with the loss.
The win was the sixth-straight for the Razorbacks, which will start Southeastern Conference play on Friday against Alabama.