Arkansas Empties Bullpen in 15-10 Loss

Gonzaga raked 12 Arkansas pitchers for 18 hits in a 15-10 college baseball victory Wednesday at Baum Stadium.

It didn't rain on the parade of Arkansas pitchers Wednesday at Baum Stadium. And it was a parade of pitchers as the No. 14 Hogs lost to Gonzaga, 15-10.

Dave Van Horn said at Swatter's Club earlier in the week that he had a deep staff and he wouldn't hesitate to go to his bullpen often.

Perhaps the veteran Arkansas coach wasn't talking about the possibility of using his entire staff against Gonzaga, but that almost happened.

Gonzaga (6-6) blasted out 18 hits as Van Horn tried 12 pitchers. Eleven were in-effective. Gonzaga scored in six of the nine innings to beat the Razorbacks for the fourth straight time, third straight in Baum Stadium over the last two seasons.

"I don't know what to say," Van Horn said. "We kept running guys out there.

"Our bullpen was a disaster. It is what it is. They have been getting positive pub, but not after tonight."

The teams were supposed to play on Tuesday as well, but rains washed out that game. The forecast was iffy for Wednesday, too, but there was no rain during the four-hour game.

Van Horn opened with Weston Rogers. He didn't make it out of the second inning. Cannon Chadwick and Josh Alberius followed as Gonzaga built a 6-3 lead.

Barrett Loseke, the lone pitcher praised by Van Horn, was the fourth and responded with three strong innings. He allowed just one hit, but Van Horn lifted him after 45 pitches to save him for the weekend.

The others Van Horn used on the mound were Hunter Hart, Anthony Dahl, Jordan Rodriguez, Doug Willey, Jake Reindl, Kacey Murphy, Isaiah Campbell and Ty Harris.

The Hogs (11-3) climbed back into the game with Loseke on the mound, then took a 10-6 lead in the sixth on Rick Nomura's grand slam.

"Our offense did a good job of getting us back into it, and I wanted to get Loseke out of there after 45," Van Horn said. "We didn't know the other guys were going to spit the bit.

"Then, when (Gonzaga) got the lead, they brought in their Saturday starter. That's what happens against us."

Justin Vernia, the fourth Zags pitcher, shut down the Hogs over the final three innings. The Hogs had 10 hits through six innings, but none against Vernia. He faced one over the minimum.

Taylor Jones led the Zags with four hits and two RBI. Dustin Brashears added three hits and and three RBI.

"They've got a good offense," Van Horn said. "It's an older team, pretty much the same as they had last year. They hit the ball and threw the ball over the plate."

Van Horn was reminded of what the Zags did to the Hogs last year, sending them into a tailspin.

"It does remind me of last year," he said. "We have more pitching, but the question is whether they are ready to pitch.

"What you see is guys who throw 92 get out there and they are throwing 88. So nerves are probably an issue. It is deja vu."

Gonzaga's five-run seventh came against Hart, Dahl and Rodriguez. Hart didn't retire any of his three batters, giving up one hit a walk and another runner reached on an error. Dahl hit his only two batters. Rodriguez gave up two hits.

The last five UA pitchers recorded only one out each.

Carson Shaddy, Cullen Gassaway and Nomura each had two hits for the Hogs. Nomura had five RBI, a career high.

"The key to the game is to keep momentum on your side of the field," Van Horn said. "When you get the lead, you want your pitchers to get back into the dugout quickly. We didn't do that."

Van Horn said it's never good to lose, but sometimes it teaches important lessons.

"Sometimes you have to lose before you can win big," he said. "That's what happened last year.

"I'm excited to get back out here at practice tomorrow. I hope they are excited, too."

The Hogs play host to Western Illinois in a three-game series beginning at 3 p.m. Friday. Saturday's starting time is set for 2 p.m. The finale is at 1 p.m.


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