Gamble Pays Off For Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE — Sean Jones couldn't remember a time in his baseball career when he had ever scored from second base on a sacrifice fly.

Jones also couldn't imagine a more perfect time to accomplish the rare feat for the first time.

With Arkansas knotted in a 10th-inning tie against No. 1Vanderbilt, Jones got the call from Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn to attempt the risky, two-base sacrifice after Logan Forsythe sent a fly ball to deep center field.

Lucky for Van Horn, Jones and the other Diamond Hogs, the move paid off as Jones was able to slide under Commodores catcher Shea Robin to give Arkansas (18-6, 3-1 in the SEC) a thrilling, 8-7 win in front of a season-high crowd of 9,078 in Baum Stadium.

"My thought right off the bat was I knew (Logan) had hit it good and I just wanted to get a good jump off of second base," said Jones, who finished the game with three runs scored. "That's probably the first time it's ever happened to me, but we picked a perfect time to do it."

Jones looked like he was about to be in no man's land as he tore down the third base line. But despite appearing to have Jones out by a longshot, Van Horn's decision to send Jones for the win looked perfect once Robin bobbled the ball at home plate.

"Nobody in this place was more happy to see (Jones) score on that play than me," Van Horn said. "If he hadn't scored, I would have felt pretty stupid for sending him."

Billed as a dream pitchers duel between Vanderbilt's David Price and Arkansas' Nick Schmidt, the game quickly turned into anything but. But while Price and Schmidt both overcame slow starts and eventually battled through six and seven innings, respectively, it was a lonely fly ball to center — and a coach's gamble — which gave Arkansas a huge, series-opening win.

"I hit the ball well on that last at-bat and when I saw Jones coming around to score, I was over at first just telling him to run," Forsythe said. "It's awesome to win this first game."

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