Hogs Pitchers Rusty In Ruston

RUSTON, La. -- Arkansas couldn't overcome two disastrous early innings en route to a 10-8 loss against Louisiana Tech in front of 1,619 at J.C. Love Field.

The Bulldogs scored a combined 10 runs in the second and third innings to erase an early 4-0 Arkansas lead and give the Razorbacks their first setback this season.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. today with Arkansas' James Gilbert and Louisiana Tech's Aaron Lorio both looking for their first decisions.

"I think we're playing pretty good baseball," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "We just gave up two big innings and got whipped there."

Louisiana Tech's 15 hits were the most allowed by the Hogs in six games, but only five of those hits came after the third inning as Arkansas (5-1) received solid relief pitching from Lee Land and Josh Smith, a pair of pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery.

"They gave us a chance," Van Horn said. "I can't ask for a whole lot more from our bullpen. They held them down and got some zeroes and gave us a chance to claw away.

"We just never put together that big inning."

Gil Laird's 3-run homer highlighted a four-run second inning while Brandon Haygood's three-run triple was the big hit in a six-run third inning that gave Louisiana Tech (4-4) a 10-4 cushion.

"(Laird's) at-bat was huge right there to wake everybody up," said Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux. "I told our team they were going to lose their crowd in the third inning if they didn't start fighting and that's what they did."

Hogs starter Charley Boyce allowed six earned runs on seven hits before being relieved by Devon Collis with no outs in the third. Collis allowed four earned runs on three hits and did not record an out before being replaced by Land.

"We just didn't pitch worth a darn there for two innings," Van Horn said. "I was really disappointed. Charley and then Devin Collis, they were not good at all."

The Razorbacks scored a run in the first when Clint Arnold led off the game with a single and later scored on a wild pitch. They put up three runs in the second with Scott Hode, who led off with a double, scoring on Bulldogs starter Brandon Hudson's second wild pitch.

That brought on reliever Andrew Lassere, who was slated to start today's game, but the Hogs weren't finished as Jake Dugger and Casey Rowlett each drove in a run to make it 4-0.

After the Bulldogs' big innings made it 10-4, Arkansas began chipping away at the lead with a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Danny Hamblin, two runs thanks to a double error on the same play in the fifth and another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Dugger to make it 10-8.

Hode led off the ninth inning with a single, but was doubled up on John Marquardt's hot shot back to reliever Matt Tucker, who finished off Arkansas' come-back bid by striking out Scott Bridges swinging.

"When you get an early lead like that, you can't just sit back against a good team," Simoneaux said. "But they kept creeping back in it and got some outstanding pitching, so we were fortunate to get the runs that we did and hold them off."

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