For the second consecutive night Arkansas called on its bullpen and for the second night it came through for the No. 16 Razorbacks in a 7-6 win over McNeese State.
Arkansas (15-5) used five pitchers in the win, with Christian Kowalchuk earning his first win of the year by pitching one inning of relief. DJ Baxendale recorded his fifth save of the season, pitching around two runners on-base upon entering the game in the eighth inning and working around a single and a walk in the ninth.
Jordan Pratt and Geoffrey Davenport served as the set-up men. Pratt pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run.
Davenport tossed 1 2/3 innings of one-run baseball, striking out five batters. Razorback pitching struck out 12 Cowboys for the game.
The Razorbacks looked to make easy work of its host, scoring two in the first inning on an Andy Wilkins two-run double and two more in the second off Matt Reynolds' first career home run.
McNeese State (8-11) responded, however, scoring one in the second and three off Arkansas starter Sam Murphy in the third to tie the game 4-4.
Murphy, who pitched 2 1/3 innings, left the game with Arkansas leading 4-1 but with the bases loaded. One run scored when Kowalchuk was called for a balk and two more scored on Seth Granger's two-run triple later in the third.
Arkansas bounced back in the top of the fourth on Monk Kreder's three-run double to give the Razorbacks a 7-4 lead. The Razorbacks nearly scored another run to start the inning, but Collin Kuhn was thrown out at the plate trying to leg out an inside the park home run.
The Cowboys added a run in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly and pulled within 7-6 in the seventh when Davenport hit a batter with the bases loaded. Davenport later got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
McNeese State used some great relief pitching of its own to stay close. Reliever Tyler Davis pitched 5.1 innings without giving up a run.
Arkansas will return home overnight and will return to the diamond for a three-game SEC series against No. 20 Alabama this weekend. The Crimson Tide (16-3, 2-1) fell 8-6 to Auburn Wednesday night in a tournament make-up game that didn't count toward either team's conference record.
Arkansas 7, McNeese State 6
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