Troy Rallies Past Razorbacks

TROY, Ala. -- After blistering Troy 13-1 on Friday night and jumping on top 5-0 in the top of the first Saturday afternoon, all Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn wanted from starting pitcher Shaun Seibert were lots of strikes.

Seibert couldn't oblige and neither could the rest of the Arkansas pitching staff as Troy evened the series with a 13-8 victory in college baseball at Riddle-Pace Field.

Seibert walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up a three-run homer. He got out of further trouble in the first, but opened the second with another walk as Troy (1-1) scored seven times for a 10-5 lead it would not relinquish.

It left Van Horn talking about pulling Seibert from the starting rotation after two rocky starts to open the season.

"I'm real concerned about him," Van Horn said. "He didn't throw anything below the belt today. His breaking ball was a lollipop. It wasn't good. We'll wait and see, but there are a couple of guys who may get a shot as a starter in our next series. We need Seibert and we'll come back to him, but he may need to come out of the rotation right now."

Van Horn was upset with his club after the loss. He talked with the Hogs in animated fashion for about 15 minutes in right field before meeting the media.

"We'll figure it out," he said. "It's good to come on the road and play a good team and it may help us win one later on this season on the road. We scored eight runs. That should be enough."

It was clear Van Horn wants his pitchers to throw strikes early in the count, something they didn't do against Troy on Saturday. Six batters who reached base on either walks, hit batsman or a bizarre wild-pitch strikeout would come around to score for Troy.

"That's ridiculous," Van Horn said. "I'm disappointed in that."

Arkansas (3-2) got on the board in the first on Danny Hamblin's three-run blast to left and a two-run error when Tim Smalling's fly ball was misplayed in short right field.

Clint Robinson answered with a three-run homer for Troy in the bottom of the first. Ben Woods followed with another three-run homer in the second, but three wild pitches and a hit batsman were also part of the problem as Troy sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs.

"Clint's homer was huge, because they had really scored some runs on us when you go back to the last two innings last night and the top of the first," said Troy coach Bobby Pierce. "You lose 13-1 and then are down 5-0, you have a chance to throw in the towel and we didn't.

"We had some patient at bats, didn't go after bad pitches and then got some big hits and knocked some guys in. It was a lot like they did last night against us. We were walking guys in last night. It was role reversal."

The Hogs scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings. Brian Walker had a solo homer in the fifth and started the eighth with a leadoff single and eventually scored.

Troy closer Josh Dew, the Sun Belt Conference preseason player of the year, came on after Ben Tschepikow's pinch-hit single. He gave up Smalling's RBI chopper over the third baseman's head, then a solid single to right by Jake Dugger to load the bases.

That brought the Hogs to the top of the order, but Dew struck out Sean Jones and Logan Forsythe, throwing only one ball.

"We had the bases loaded and the go-ahead guy at the plate and had two real bad at bats," Van Horn said. "So that was the downer at the end."

Still, Van Horn saw some positives.

"We came here to find out about some young players and we did," Van Horn said. "We looked at some freshman and new guys and saw what they could do and how they react under pressure. We know who isn't ready now. We'll be OK."

Van Horn promises not to wait long today if starter Duke Welker isn't on track. He knows he's got a rested Jess Todd in the bullpen. Todd, who compares favorably with UA ace Nick Schmidt, hasn't pitched in the series after notching two saves over the opening weekend.

"We might go with him a little earlier tomorrow because of the situation," Van Horn said. "We want him to get some innings this weekend and he's ready to go."


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