The No. 12 Hogs (25-15, 9-7) turned the game over to the bullpen in the sixth with a 3-0 lead, but Brandon Moore committed an error to allow an unearned run in the seventh. Jalen Beeks gave up two hits and a walk in the eighth, then Chris Oliver gave up his second pinch-hit homer in as many games -- a grand slam by freshman Jonathan Maroney.
Beeks took the loss, his first in five decisions this season. The lefty sophomore retired only one of the four batters he faced.
The Hogs, with five hits, didn't have much offense except for third baseman Brian Anderson in the cleanup spot. He had three hits and scored twice. Matt Vinson had an RBI double and Bret McAfee added a bouncer over the third baseman for the only other UA hit.
The Hogs scored two runs on a deep Jordan Farris sacrifice fly. Vinson scored from second when the second baseman dropped the relay throw for an error.
The Hogs left the bases loaded in the fourth when Vinson was out at the plate on a fielder's choice and Joe Serrano went down swinging.
"It was a pretty well played game," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "A&M hung in there. Except for Brandon (Moore), our bullpen didn't get it done.
"Our bullpen has been good all year. We gave up a lead against Pacific and tonight we had a three-run lead with nine outs left. That's really been it."
Van Horn said Beeks hung a 1-2 breaking pitch to get the Aggies started in the eighth.
"That's a leadoff single," Van Horn said. "Oliver fell behind 2-0 and put one down the middle. Give credit to coach (Rob) Childress for green lighting his big freshman on 2-0. He hit it 400 feet."
Astin allowed five hits and walked four. The junior righthander said it wasn't a night where all of his pitches were working.
"I know I didn't have my best stuff tonight, I couldn't command anything," Astin said. "I was basically just out there competing and that got me through into the sixth inning."
Van Horn was asked if he was concerned that the losing streak could spiral into something big in the wrong direction.
"I'm not concerned about spiraling, I'm just concerned about getting a win," Van Horn. "That's just the way it goes."
Astin said there's only one way to look at the plight of the Hogs.
"For the team, we're just staying positive," Astin said. "Things aren't going our way right now but if we stay positive things are going to go our way. Every team goes through a downfall and this may be it for the season for us. Next weekend or tomorrow, we're going to pick it back up and we may run off 10 or 12 runs.
The series resumes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night when Ryne Stanek pitches for the Hogs.