Errors Cost Diamond Hogs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Barnum & Bailey would have signed Arkansas' defense up as its lead act with the number of circus-like plays made during Saturday's 8-2 loss against Tennessee in front of a season-high crowd of 2,726 in Nelson Stadium.

The No. 10 Razorbacks (30-7 overall, 8-6 in the Southeastern Conference) tied a season-high with five errors to basically hand the outcome over to the No. 23 Volunteers (24-10, 8-5). Four Arkansas pitchers didn't help much either as they combined to tie a season-high with eight walks.

It snapped the Hogs' nine-game winning streak. Today's series rubber match is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.

"We probably played our worst ball game of the year," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "I thought our guys hustled and gave a great effort, but it just didn't happen because we booted ground balls, threw balls away and we left (10) runners on base.

"They beat us with two or three big hits and the runners that were on, were on because of walks and errors."

Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico said it was nice to flip the script after his team committed a costly error and walked five in Friday's 4-1 Arkansas win.

"We didn't play catch on a couple plays (Friday) night," said Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico. "And I think when you play a team like us or a team like them, you put the ball in play and it puts pressure on each other because we both like to run, we both like to bunt. It just went our way."

Arkansas' sub-par defense overshadowed a solid performance by Tennessee starter James Adkins, a talented 6-foot-6 freshman who scattered nine hits in 7 1/3 innings. The Hogs threatened to score several times, but Adkins seemed to have an answer each time.

"He's been like that all year," Delmonico said. "He'll give up a hit or two and then he gets a strikeout or a double play. He has done a great job of pitching out of jams. For a freshman, he shows a lot of composure."

With two outs in the second inning, Hogs reliever Josh Smith started the error-filled show when he went to cover first on a slow roller to second and let a chest-high throw fly past his glove and into the Volunteers' dugout. It helped spot Tennessee a 2-0 lead after Michael Rivera hit a bases-loaded, sacrifice fly to center to plate the first run.

Arkansas' Craig Gentry, who broke a school-record with his 10th consecutive hit Saturday, evened the score at 2-all when he roped a two-run homer -- his first -- down the left-field line in the third.

In the fourth, the Razorbacks' carnival act continued when Julio Borbon, who doubled to lead off the inning, was able to score easily from second. After a strikeout, Borbon stole third and UA catcher Blake Parker's throw ended up in left field to give the Vols a 3-2 lead.

It was one of two throwing errors for Parker in the inning and he was moved to right field at the start of the fifth.

But the problems didn't end there as Tennessee scored two runs after what would've been an inning-ending double play in the sixth to take a commanding 5-2 lead.

Hogs third baseman Clay Goodwin fielded a routine grounder and threw to second baseman John Henry Marquardt in hopes of starting a double play. But Marquardt, trying to make a quick turn, forgot to catch the ball as it skipped off his glove and into short right field.

Arkansas gave away another run in the ninth after a bases-loaded, two-run double to left by J.P. Arencibia. Hogs left-fielder Chris Hollensworth's one-hopped throw into second got away from Marquardt and allowed Chase Headley to score from third.

"It just all added up," Van Horn said. "We just had a bad game. I just told the guys that we've got to get over this one real quick. Hopefully, we got all this out of our system."

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