The Razorbacks had to play catch-up the entire game after Trent Daniel struggled in his first outing of the year. Daniel, a senior left-hander, gave up six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Western Illinois took a 2-0 first inning lead on a Steve Kedroski two-run single, but the Razorbacks answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits by Tyler Spoon and Brian Anderson.
Arkansas (2-1) tied the game at 3-3 on Spoon's second RBI to score Matt Vinson. Spoon finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate and walked once.
Anderson's second RBI double scored two runners in the seventh to pull Arkansas within 7-5. Jacob Morris led off the ninth with a walk and advanced to second on a balk, but Spoon, McAfee and Anderson went down in succession to end the game.
Starter Mason Pingel earned the win for the Leathernecks (1-2) by throwing five innings. Brian Loconsole picked up a five-out save.
Brandon Moore pitched 5 2/3 innings out of the bullpen for Arkansas, allowing one run on one hit and striking out five.
The Razorbacks out-hit Western Illinois 11-9, but stranded nine runners.
Arkansas started the game without several anticipated starters. Second baseman Dominic Ficociello missed his third consecutive game with a strained oblique, while catcher Jake Wise and shortstop Brett McAfee were brought in as pinch-hitters.
Anderson, who started Friday and Saturday at third base, started at shortstop. He and Ramirez, the back-up catcher, were responsible for two of the three errors.