FAYETTEVILLE – Freshman Matt Vinson hit a 10th inning walk-off home run to give Arkansas a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sunday at Baum Stadium.
Vinson's first career home run and first game-winner at any level came with two outs in the inning and cleared the 400-foot mark in center field.
"Everybody on the bench knows what kind of power he's got," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "With the wind blowing out we were all thinking he might pop one. We didn't expect him to do it with two outs but he had fouled off the same pitch twice. We knew he hit it good and thought it could go with the way the wind was blowing.
"It's got to be a big thrill for him for his first collegiate home run to be a walk-off and get mobbed by his teammates."
The home run gave the No. 14 Razorbacks (12-3) their second sweep of the season in a game they trailed 2-0 heading to the ninth inning. Arkansas scored a pair of runs off Milwaukee starter Jordan Herbert in the inning, first on a fielder's choice to plate Collin Kuhn and then a wild pitch to score Zack Cox.
Herbert threw three wild pitches in the inning, gave up two hits and hit a Razorback batter. It was a disappointing ending for the senior, who allowed just those two runs in nine innings on the mound.
Herbert had recorded 15 consecutive outs prior to the ninth inning for the Panthers (4-8).
"It was a disappointing game up until the ninth inning," Van Horn said. "We kept talking about we've got to find a way to get two runs and extend the game and we did."
The bullpen kept the Razorbacks in the game as starter Brett Eibner finished with just 3 2/3 innings on the mound. Senior Jeremy Heatley (2-0) earned the win pitching from the seventh inning on, allowing no runs on just two hits.
"Heatley was the guy that kept us right there just down two runs," Van Horn said. "He's pitched outstanding and he had to go against the 1-2-3 in their order in the top of the 10th. We felt like if we could get through that we had a chance and he did a good job for us.
"He's a pitcher I feel now is ready for SEC play."
It was Arkansas' second comeback win of the series after overcoming a three-run deficit in the sixth inning Friday before eventually winning 14-6. The bullpen came through in that game as well, keeping the Razorbacks close until the bats came alive late.
"We've got seven or eight guys that can keep us in the ballgame and put us in position late to win," Heatley said. "I haven't had a lot of experience here until this year, really, but the more and more you go out there, the more confident you're going to be. This atmosphere is a great atmosphere to play in and our fans today were sure behind us. That was a factor in us getting the win."
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a Doug Dekoning RBI single off Eibner, who left later in the inning with the bases loaded. Eibner finished the day giving up six hits in a no-decision.
Sophomore Geoffrey Davenport got Arkansas out of the jam but later gave up a solo home run to Tim Patzman in the sixth inning to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
"We didn't do anything early and they were hitting balls all over the park and on a mission to beat us today," Van Horn said.
"I made the comment to our guys that good teams always find a way to come back and win. I didn't know if we could come back and win, and I don't know if we're a good team, but we came back and won the game. Whether we deserved to win or not, that's what you've got to do in a long season is win games when you probably shouldn't."
Arkansas will now take a full week off in preparation for its first Southeastern Conference series of the season next weekend at No. 2 LSU. The Tigers dropped two of three games at home to Kansas this weekend, a club the Razorbacks beat 15-3 last Tuesday.
Arkansas 3, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2
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