Gentry's Late Heroics Give Razorbacks Win

FAYETTEVILLE --After nearly letting what seemed like a sure-fire win slip away, Arkansas finally came up with a big hit when it mattered most.

After blowing a lead in the top of the inning, Craig Gentry delivered a one-out triple in the bottom of the ninth to score Jake Dugger and give the Razorbacks a 2-1 win over Northern Colorado on Tuesday night in front of 4,197 in Baum Stadium.

"I got up there and I knew with Dugger on first base, with only one out, I just had to get him over in scoring position and get the next man up," Gentry said. "Luckily he left a pitch up and I got a good piece of it."

When Gentry's ball left the bat, it didn't look as if it would carry far enough to score Dugger.

"I hit it decent, I just got a little under it, but it just got up in the wind and it just carried," Gentry said.

The teams will play again at 6:05 p.m. tonight in the finale of the two-game series.

Clint Arnold looked as if he'd given the Razorbacks (28-10) all the offense it needed with his solo home run into the bullpen in left to lead off the seventh.

If it weren't for Arnold, no Razorback would've had a hit off Northern Colorado starter Evan Linn.

Arnold took Linn's 1-1 pitch into the bullpen in left field to break the scoreless tie. Arnold needed 275 at-bats to get his first collegiate home run. He needed just four to get his second.

"Clint did a great job coming out and getting us that one run, and it ended up being huge for us," Gentry said. "Pretty much from one to nine, we couldn't get it going (against Linn)."

Linn pitched six-plus innings, striking out four and walking six.

"Evan Linn was effectively wild," said Northern Colorado coach Keith Smallcomb. "When he had to make a big pitch, he seemed to make it."

With just five hits, Arkansas continued its stretch of offensive struggles in mid-week, nonconference affairs. In their last four nonconference games, the Razorbacks are hitting just .215.

"I'm not making any excuses for them, but we're not getting any production out of these young guys in the middle of the week," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "And it's time. I'd rather win on the weekends, but we need to win more during the week. We need to win all the games we can right now, as we're trying to get to postseason play."

After walking Logan Forsythe following the home run, Linn gave way to Tyler Pearson. The only other hit off Linn was Arnold's one-out double in the second.

The Razorbacks eventually loaded the bases with one out, but pinch-hitter David Hum grounded hard into a double play to end the scoring threat.

"We did everything right that inning," Van Horn said. "That's just kind of the way baseball works. ... David Hum couldn't hit the ball any harder. He hit it right at him; he just knocked it down.

"If he hits the fall 10 foot one way or the other, he gets two RBIs. That's just the way it goes."

But thanks to a Razorbacks error in the ninth, Northern Colorado (13-22) kept the game alive.

Brennan Garr reached on an infield single. With runners on first and second with one out, Arkansas reliever Devin Collis looked like he'd caught a break, getting Kevin Sandberg to ground sharply right back up the middle. But Collis' throw to second ended up in center field and Garr scored to tie the game 1-1.

Collis (5-0) wound up with the win after blowing the save.

The Razorbacks had prime scoring chances in each of the first two innings against Linn.

Each time, Arkansas had a runner on second with less than two outs. But Linn got out of the first-inning jam with back-to-back strikeouts before getting Chris Hollensworth to ground out. In the second, Linn worked around Arnold's double by getting a pair of popouts to end the threat.

On Arnold's double, though, Van Horn was waving the sophomore to third.

"Arnold should have had a triple," Van Horn said. "I'm bringing him, it's an easy triple. The next guy flies to the wall in right field, we've got a 1-0 lead.

"That was disappointing. We felt like we should've had a 2-0 lead after two, then all of the sudden you look up and it's a tight one."


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