Gassaway home run wins scrimmage

Cullen Gassaway hit a go-ahead three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, giving his Red team a 7-6 win and 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Arkansas players had a flair for the dramatics Wednesday in the second game of the Razorbacks' fall scrimmage series. 

Cullen Gassaway hit a go-ahead three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, giving his Red team a 7-6 win and 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. 

Arkansas will play Game 3 of the series Saturday at 11 a.m. The scrimmage is open to the public free of charge. 

Gassaway's home run was his fourth hit in two scrimmages this week. He had three hits in his team's win Monday. 

"He went up there knowing what he was going to do," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He was looking for a first pitch fastball and if he got it he was going to swing at it, and that's what he did. 

"Those are the types of games I want to see out here at this time of the year." 

Gassaway has not practiced much this fall because of injuries. The sophomore had foot surgery during the summer and was forced to miss more practice time two weeks ago with a back injury. 

"He's only had eight to 10 at-bats this fall and they've been really broken up," Van Horn said. "He didn't play all summer. He stayed and lifted. You saw it on that hit. He didn't get all that ball but he hit it out of the park because he's a lot stronger than he was last year."

Gassaway's go-ahead hit came off reliever Kyle Pate, who had his worst outing of the fall. Pate walked Jack Benninghoff in four pitches to begin the inning and Austin Catron followed with a single. 

Alex Gosser bunted the runners into scoring position before Nate Alberius struck out for the second out of the half-inning. Gassaway hit Pate's first pitch into the bullpen in left field. 

Hunter Hart worked out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth inning. Clark Eagan's sacrifice fly pulled the White team within one run, but Rick Nomura flied out to center field to end the scrimmage, stranding the tying run at second base.

The White team took the lead with two runs in the sixth inning. Nomura's solo home run tied the game and Darien Simms scored on a throwing error by catcher Alex Gosser. 

Both teams scored three runs in the first inning. Chad Spanberger hit his second home run of the series in the bottom of the inning, once again clearing the bullpen in right field. 

"I'm definitely a lot stronger than when I came here," Spanberger said. "I got sick last year (with mono) and that really put me down. I've got a lot of it back."

The Red team nearly tied the game in the eighth inning, but Carson Shaddy was robbed of a would-be home run by center fielder Jake Arledge. Arledge gloved the ball over the top of the fence in front of the 400-foot marker. 

"I haven't seen that play by too many guys in a while," Van Horn said. "That was a great play. He runs and gets the ball well. That's by far the best play I've seen him make."


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