The Razorbacks -- forced to go without Nick Schmidt in the series opener after the left-handed ace sprained his ankle in Thursday's practice -- were taken down in a slugfest in the opener against the Bulldogs, 11-9. Pitching in Schmidt's place, freshman Dallas Keuchel surrendered six earned runs in five innings and the Arkansas bats woke up a little to late to complete the comeback rally. For the Bulldogs, junior catcher Edward Easley led the attack, going 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and three RBIs. ON SATURDAY Mississippi State 2, Arkansas 1 Duke Welker's tough luck continued as Arkansas couldn't deliver offensively, wasting another great Welker effort on the mound in a 2-1 loss. In seven innings, the Razorbacks junior struck out a career-high 11 and gave up just three hits. But Mississippi State's Justin Pigott was just as good, if not better, throwing a complete-game eight-hitter to secure the Bulldogs' fourth-straight series win at Baum Stadium. ON SUNDAY Arkansas 9, Mississippi State 3 In a contest coach Dave Van Horn called "one of our best games of the year," Arkansas got a win it desperately needed Sunday. With solid pitching from Schmidt and Jess Todd, plenty of hitting up and down the lineup and great defense all day long, the Diamond Hogs avoided a sweep with a 9-3 win. The victory also kept Arkansas in a first-place tie -- along with Florida -- in the SEC standings. 3-UP 1. Nick Schmidt returned from a sprained ankle injury and struck out nine batters in seven innings. With 300 career strikeouts, Schmidt is now within one of tying the all-time school record. 2. Arkansas' Danny Hamblin and Matt Willard both had three doubles in the win. Before Sunday, no Razorbacks hitter had put together a three-doubles game since the 2003 season. 3. Diamond Hogs closer Jess Todd entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the eighth and managed to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play. 3-DOWN 1. Mississippi State third basemen Connor Powers struck out in his first at-bat Sunday, running his streak to eight consecutive at-bats with a strikeout in the series. 2. Bulldogs leadoff hitter Jeffrey Rea was 0-for-4 Sunday and finished just 1 of 13 in the series. 3. Despite two wins in three games, Mississippi State's pitching staff allowed a .349 batting average to the Arkansas lineup over the weekend.
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