Keane Lifts Missouri State Past Hogs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Shaun Seibert's audition for the weekend rotation was successful Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, it wasn't enough.

Nolan Keane's three-run home run barely cleared the left-field wall in the eighth as Missouri State beat the Razorbacks 4-2 at Hammon Field.

It was the second time in eight days Missouri State beat Arkansas. The Bears won 10-5 in Fayetteville last Tuesday.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Seibert would be in the rotation this weekend when the Razorbacks return to Southeastern Conference play at home against Kentucky. He said Seibert would pitch either Saturday or Sunday against the Wildcats.

"That was the word early on today that maybe I could earn a spot for this weekend and that's just what I was trying to do out there," Seibert said. "I don't think I was as mature mentally as I am this year. I think this year I'm more prepared to go out there and be a weekend guy."

The weekend opening came up with the recent struggles of Charley Boyce, who had been the Razorbacks' Saturday starter until he was moved to Friday against Vanderbilt last week and then sent to the bullpen after another sub-par effort.

As a freshman, Seibert started five SEC games, going 1-2.

Seibert limited Missouri State to a pair of two-out singles before getting into a little trouble in the fifth, walking Brayden Drake to lead off the inning. Drake moved to second on a wild pitch before eventually scoring on a passed ball for the game's first run.

"I was disappointed they took the lead on a passed ball," Van Horn said. "That ball's gotta be caught and 99 times out of 100 it is."

The sophomore pitched five innings, giving up three hits and just the one unearned run.

"Early on, I was keeping the fastball low and locating it a little bit," Seibert said. "Later, it just started to get away from me a little bit."

Keane's home run off Lee Land broke a 1-1 tie. Chris Hollensworth briefly looked like he came up with the ball but Keane trotted around to score three and give the Bears a comfortable lead on a night where offense was scarce.

Land (1-1), who retired the first 20 batters he faced in relief in last week's loss, pitched three innings, picking up the loss.

Van Horn praised both of his pitchers, though, putting the loss squarely on the offense.

Arkansas had several scoring chances go by the boards before Blake Parker's seventh-inning home run tied it.

"We just never came through with the big hit," Van Horn said. "Just really disappointed with our offense. I was really, really happy with our pitching."

In last week's game in Fayetteville, Missouri State starter Jake Shafer picked up the win, pitching five plus innings and giving up five runs.

Tuesday, Shafer was even better, pitching five scoreless innings, getting out of the lone serious scoring threat by the Razorbacks.

"I thought he pitched OK against them last time," said Missouri State coach Keith Guttin. "He gave up a couple big hits late down there, but I thought he pitched well. We got a good effort from him tonight."

But it didn't take long once Shafer was out of the game for the Razorbacks to get back in, as Parker took Matt Frevert's 1-0 pitch out deep to left in the seventh to tie the game.

Missouri State left fielder Adam Pummill didn't even take off toward the wall on the blast, just watching the ball sail well over the fence for Parker's fifth home run of the season.

Frevert (3-1), who picked up a four-inning save last time against the Razorbacks, pitched two innings to earn the win. Chris Krawczyk allowed one run on three hits in the ninth, but picked up his fifth save.

Jake Dugger saved at least one Missouri State run in the fifth when, with runners on first and second with two out, he tracked back to the wall in left-center field, banging against the screen in front of the bullpen before coming down with Matt Weglarz's fly ball.

The Razorbacks threatened the next inning, loading the bases with two outs before Shafer got out of the jam he created by getting Hollensworth to fly out to deep center. Shafer walked a batter and hit another to help load the bases.

In the eighth, Craig Gentry was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second before Frevert struck out three straight Razorbacks to end the threat.

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