Matt Vinson broke down the first door with a bases-loaded, bases-clearing triple to rally Arkansas from behind e seventh and then closer Colby Sugg shut the new door in the ninth inning with the tying and go-ahead runners in scoring position and just one out.
Those were the big moments that got the home crowd of 5,047 fans roaring and gave the Razorbacks (20-7, 5-2) their fourth straight conference win in spite of a 4-for-4 night from red-hot Bulldog right fielder Hunter Renfroe.
"Obviously, I feel great about getting a win," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. "… It ended up being a Friday night type game. It was just a little different. A lot of pitching changes. It almost got away from us. We left too many people on base early obviously. "
It was obviously a tough loss for the Bulldogs (22-7, 2-5) and head coach John Cohen, who outhit the Razorbacks 11-7 and had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in seventh only to see that wiped out by Vinson.
"They got the key hit in the key situation and we didn't," Cohen added. "We had two of our best hitters up in the ninth and neither one of them got it done. That's surprising to me because those two guys are very good players. Given that opportunity in the future I think those guys will get it done."
Suggs – one of 10 pitchers the two teams used in the game – got C.T Bradford (.314 average) to pop up to shortstop Brian Anderson and then wisely put Renfroe (batting .423 entering the game) on first to load the bases.
"He would have done whatever we asked him to do," Van Horn said when Suggs was asked about putting Renfroe on. "Here's the deal. He might have got him, but if he doesn't there are a couple of guys in the dugout you guys would have been all over about pitching to him. We did what we needed to do."
He then retired Alex Detz – hitting .370 coming into his at-bat – on just three pitches.
"I was pretty pumped just being in that situation," Suggs said. "Obviously you are going to have a lot of adrenaline with the runners on second and third and one out. It was my job to come in and shut the door and that is what I tried to do. I was successful at it tonight."
The last strike came after Demarcus Henderson had made a break from third base in an effort to get Suggs to balk in the tying run.
"Yeah, I saw him, but I feel like I am a pretty composed person so it didn't scare me much," Suggs said. "If anything I thought about stepping off and picking him off, but it felt better just to throw the pitch."
Van Horn lauded Suggs' for that composure.
"That was just a very gutsy performance right there," Van Horn said. " He came in and closed the door against South Carolina. He was down there ready to roll."
Suggs, who started slow after an injured oblique, saved a game in Arkansas' sweep at South Carolina last week and appears to be on track.
"I am feeling great now," Suggs said. "I might have rushed it back from that oblique injury, but I just wanted to be out there playing with all these guys I have been playing with for three years now. Obviously whenever they voted me captain I felt a little more pressure to get out there and perform. I feel 100 percent now and I am feeling great."
Arkansas jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and the third, but failed to take advantage of the wildness of Mississippi State fill-in starter Luis Pollornea, who walked eight over 6 1/3 innings of work.
He got out of a bases-loaded, no out situation in the third by just allowing one run.
"We could have been in control of the game if we'd had a little better third inning," Van Horn said. "I mean, we loaded the bases with no outs. Fortunately we scored a run and made it 2-0, but it would have been nice to be up 4-0. I think we could have relaxed a little bit where done a better job. But give them credit, they got out of it."
Arkansas starter Barret Astin cruised through the first 5 2/3 innings before giving up three straight two-out hits in the sixth that tied it 2-2 and chased him from the game in favor of Brandon Moore.
Mississippi State then took the lead on Nick Ammirati's RBI single off Moore, who was eventually followed into the game by winning pitcher Jalen Beeks (3-0), Trey Killian and Trent Daniel.
That set the stage in the bottom of the seventh for Vinson, who is now batting .333 for the Razorbacks this season and had four RBIs on the night.
Switch-hitting Dominic Ficociello – who has not batted left handed much this season because of an injury - went to the plate left handed in attempt to slap the ball in play and tie it, but was hit instead to load the bases.
Facing Myles Gentry, Vinson then cleared them with a rocket to the delight of the Arkansas faithful.
"It was a fast ball," Vinson said. "He missed out the first time so I knew he was going to try and get it over the plate. Honestly I was just trying to get it deep in the outfield and get that run home and get somebody over. It happened to get over his head, which doesn't happen much because he can run some balls down."
The two teams return to the field on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. with Ryne Stanek taking the mound for Arkansas.