After two big offensive innings, the Razorbacks bats once again went into mid-week hibernation against Oral Roberts, as the Golden Eagles scored three in the eighth for a come-from-behind 5-4 win in front of an estimated 1,927 at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The loss breaks what had been a 10-game winning streak for the Razorbacks against ORU in Tulsa. The Golden Eagles (25-13) last home win over Arkansas (31-15) came April 25, 1995.
"If you look in sports history, there's clubs that's had some club's number," said Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton. "They've had our number for sure. We've played a couple games well there at Arkansas and won but here we haven't been able to put anything together."
The Razorbacks are now 1-4 in their last five nonconference games.
Oral Roberts took advantage of an Arkansas defensive miscue to take the lead in the eighth.
Down 4-3 with runners on first and second, Pat Warfle's seeing-eye single to right would've likely tied the game anyway, but right fielder Jake Dugger charged hard on the ball, which bounced under Dugger's glove, allowing Carter McQuigg to score from first to give Oral Roberts the lead.
"Jake is raring to go like he's going to throw somebody out at the plate," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "He's making an aggressive move on the ball because he has a hurt arm and he knows that he's really going to have to try to throw someone out. Probably not going to throw anybody out, when it was a base hit, I pretty much figured the game was tied, I wish he would've just fielded the ball and thrown it to the cut off man."
The error was one of four for the Razorbacks.
Devin Collis (6-2) picked up the loss, pitching just one-third of an inning, giving up the unearned winning run and two hits.
Arkansas returns to Southeastern Conference play Friday when it opens a three-game home series against Alabama.
The Razorbacks had plenty of chances to score after the second, but stranded eight runners in the last seven innings.
"Bottom line, we struck out 12 times," Van Horn said. "The pitching didn't lose the game, the offense lost the game.
"We can't strike out so much. It's really disappointing that we didn't put the bat on the ball. If we were getting overpowered, overmatched it'd be one thing. There's some guys that have got to do a better job of putting the bat on the ball with runners in scoring position. ... We just have not done a good job with it and if I got to make some changes or adjustments and play some different people, I'm going to have to do that."
Chad Rothford's home run to center to lead off the eighth pulled Oral Roberts within one, 4-3. Going in, the Razorbacks were hitting just .221 in their last five mid-week games.
Arkansas looked like it would break those nonconference offensive woes early, busting out with five hits and four runs in the first two innings off Oral Roberts starter Daniel Greenwalt.
Danny Hamblin's two-run home run to left-center field with two outs in the first put Arkansas on the board before Clint Arnold doubled to drive in a run in the second before scoring on James Ewing's single two batters later.
But Golden Eagles reliever Chance Chapman kept ORU in it, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings before allowing the first two Arkansas batters to reach base in the seventh and giving way to Sean Jarrett (4-1). Jarrett battled out of Chapman's jam, though, striking out three straight.
"I love being put in pressure situations," Jarrett said. "It's nice to know that you're the guy that the team counts on to get the job done."
The inning came right after Razorbacks reliever James Gilbert battled out of a jam of his own.
After Rothford doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs, Oral Roberts looked to be in prime shape to at least tie the game.
But Travis DeBondt's safety squeeze try came straight back to Gilbert, too hard to score the runner from third. Gilbert then forced Andy Bouchie to pop out to short.
Kelly Minissale then lined a ball to right-center that appeared to be headed into the gap, but Dugger caught the ball on a full run to end the threat.
Charley Boyce, starting his first game since April 7, lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Boyce struggled with his control, walking two and hitting one. Just 30 of his 69 pitches went for strikes.
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