Fayetteville native Tim Carver's two-run single capped a seven-run outburst in the middle innings as the University of Arkansas rallied from five runs down to take an 8-7 win over Arizona State before 11,014 fans at Baum Stadium.
That gave the Razorbacks (24-6) – top-ranked in Collegiate Baseball poll - a two-game sweep of the Baseball America No. 1 Sun Devils (23-7) - before a new midweek series record of 17,300.
"I told our guys that these our two great wins, but I don't want you to feel like this is the highlight of the season," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "We have got a lot of baseball left. I think we have some even keeled guys, that are focused and they know what is up. I am just real proud of them and the way they hung in there tonight."
The 11,014 fans broke the previous record of 10,581 fans that came against LSU on May 5, 2007 and almost more than the school midweek record of 11,916 set against Nebraska earlier this season.
"I knew we were going to have a good crowd, but I couldn't believe how full it was," Van Horn said. "I thought we had at least 10,000 and when I saw 11,000 go up there, it just makes you proud to be a Razorback. It was unbelievable."
Arizona native Andrew Darr was 3-of-4 with four RBIs for the SEC-leading Razorbacks, who were quickly turning their attention to this weekend's home series with Vanderbilt.
"Getting a two-game sweep from them was really important for us, especially going into this weekend against Vanderbilt," Darr said. "They (the Commodores) have got great arms and it is going to be a great test for us this weekend."
Carver's two-run single chased home Darr and Brett Eibner, and gave his team an 8-7 lead, capping a a three-run fourth against loser Jason Franzblau (1-2).
"He just stepped up there with that first pitch and hammered that ball to left field," Van Horn said. "We ran a hit and run with (James) McCann the pitch before. We were thinking we will at least get two guys in scoring position with two outs and he might find a hole. Let's just roll the dice a little bit and Tim stepped up, hit the first pitch, gave us the lead and we never gave up."
Carver, a young man of few words, came to the plate with a .185 average, but did his talking with his bat against Jordan Swaggerty.
"I was just sitting fastball," Carver said. "That is what Coach told me to sit on. I did that, trusted him and it worked out really well for me. That is a great feeling. There is probably not much better."
It was the final two of seven runs the Razorbacks scored in the fourth and fifth after falling down 6-1.
Arkansas had 12 hits to the Sun Devils' nine.
"It's like I told our guys, the schedule that we have played we have been behind a lot and we never panic," Van Horn said. "We were down 5-0, but we knew we had a lot of at bats, we both are in the middle of the week pitching and getting a little bit thin and have to recycle.
"We put together an inning," Van Horn continued. "They made an error over there and we took advantage of it and got some big two-out hits. Next thing you know we are right back in it and we get another hit, took the lead and I thought our bullpen was great."
Arkansas got great relief pitching from winner Zack Cox (3-1), Sam Murphy and closer Stephen Richards – who picked up his sixth save as the UA battled its way back from the five-run deficit in a game in which it used 6 pitchers.
Cox had three key scoreless frames in the middle.
"Zack hasn't pitched a whole lot and his back has been bothering him so we haven't put him out there too much," Van Horn said. "He hasn't thrown a bullpen in a couple of weeks. He doesn't like to throw bullpens. He likes to play third base and hit and come in and pitch. He wasn't real sharp, but he got it done."
Just like in Tuesday night's game where Arkansas rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win 7-3, Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy was lamenting mental lapses in the field that cost his team.
"We had a couple of big errors in that same inning and it got them going again," Murphy said. "The first baseman drops a ball and then our second baseman kicks one. They are both freshmen and that really hurt us."
Arizona State jumped to a 5-0 lead with a single run in the opening inning and a four-run outburst in the second.
Jason Kipnis got things going in the first with a solo home run, his 10th of the season and one that came with two outs off Arkansas starter Bryan Bingham, in his first start back from a rib injury.
The Sun Devils then chased Bingham in the second with Johnny Ruettinger - nephew of Notre Dame's famed Rudy Ruettinger – starting the rally with a one-out double.
Abe Ruiz singled home a run, Raoul Torrez doubled in another and Kipnis' two-run single boosted the visitors' lead to 5-0.
The Razorbacks cut it to 5-1 in the bottom of the second as Darr plated Andy Wilkins.
Arizona State regained its five-run advantage in the third after Ruettiger reached on a two-base error, moved up on a wild pitch and scored when Arkansas failed to turn a double play.
The home team then had its own four-run outburst in the fourth with Darr driving home a pair and Chase Leavitt and Bo Bigham both delivering RBI hits to cut it 6-5.
Ruettinger's RBI single in the fifth got Ruiz home for a 7-5 lead.
A defensive star was the freshman catcher McCann, who threw out a runner and also made a great stab to get a runner at the plate in the second.
"He has always thrown the ball good," Van Horn said. "He is just so accurate. He is getting better from behind the dish. He was a third baseman as a young player all the way to his junior year. I think that defensive play, that relay we threw the runner out at the plate – that was a hard pick with a catcher's mitt, but he had a nice pick, tagged him and saved us a run."
Murphy left very impressed with what he saw from Arkansas.
"They have got an older club, they play well, are very talented, a very disciplined offensive club," Murphy said. "I am impressed with them – very impressed with them."