FAYETTEVILLE - Only the inning was different for Tom Hauskey this time around.
Like three weeks earlier, the senior Hauskey was called upon in the clutch Tuesday night and delivered with a walk-off pinch-hit single in the 11th inning to lift No. 9 Arkansas past New Mexico 4-3 at Baum Stadium.
It was Hauskey's second pinch-hit single to win a game this year. He hit a two-out single in the ninth inning to beat Alabama 4-3 on March 27.
"He's pretty darn good," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He handles the situation, doesn't try to do too much and he's done a great job for us."
The Razorbacks (27-6) had loaded the bases with no outs this time around as Bo Bigham led off the inning with a single, Zack Cox followed with a single and Andy Wilkins was intentionally walked.
Brett Eibner looked like he could be the hero, but the junior center fielder struck out for the fifth time on the night in the 11th inning, finishing the game 0-for-6.
With Monk Kreder having been pinch-ran for an inning earlier, Van Horn elected to go with his most clutch hitter to replace his hottest one. Kreder had earlier recorded a hit in his 15th consecutive game. Hauskey was ready and lined a fastball into right field to score Bigham.
"In that position you kind of have to be confident because if you're not, you're probably not going to get the job done," Hauskey said. "Coming off the bench you've got to be confident and know that you're going to get your pitch and hit it.
"It felt almost exactly the same as the Alabama game. I fouled off a fastball up in the zone early in the count and it was the same thing I did against Alabama. I knew he was going to come with another fastball and I was ready for it the second time because I knew you only get three chances."
It was Arkansas' sixth win this season when tied or trailing after the seventh inning and fourth win on a walk-off hit.
"I told the guys before the season started that one sign of a good team is a team that can come back," Van Horn said. "We've done that a lot and I feel like we've got a pretty good club. We're not going to do it every time, but we sure battle."
The game looked like it might end on a walk-off of another caliber, but Cox' deep hit to center field died at the warning track to end the ninth and send the game into extra innings.
New Mexico (21-12) took advantage of the extra frame, scoring two runs off Arkansas reliever Mike Bolsinger in the 10th inning to take a 3-1 lead.
Always ready for a comeback, Arkansas responded in the bottom half of the inning. Wilkins walked to begin the inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on Kreder's third hit of the game.
That brought up Matt Vinson for his first at-bat of the game after coming in to pinch-run for Travis Sample in the eighth. The freshman Vinson calmly hit a drive into right field to pull Arkansas within 3-2.
"Matt did a good job," Van Horn said. "The first pitch to Matt was a high slider and he didn't chase it. The next pitch he gets a base hit to right and we're off and rolling."
The Razorbacks looked to tie the game but Kyle Atkins was thrown out at the plate on a bunt attempt while pinch-running for Kreder. The play advanced Vinson to second, however, and he scored on a James McCann RBI single to make it 3-3 before Collin Kuhn struck out to end the inning with a runner on third base.
For the night Arkansas left 11 runners in scoring position.
"The thing is we get people on," Van Horn said. "This past weekend and the week before we drove in a lot but we've still been leaving people on because we've had a lot of people on base and a lot of tough outs in our lineup."
It was a pitcher's duel early in a fantastic Tuesday night match-up. Making his first career start Razorback freshman DJ Baxendale pitched five innings, allowing two hits and striking out five batters. Van Horn said Baxendale could be the Sunday starter this weekend because of the performance.
"We gained some confidence as a staff and a team, but I think personally he gained some confidence himself," Van Horn said. "He's had a couple of shaky outings and that's just what he needed.
"It was a good job by all of our pitchers. They held down a good team. We knew we were going to have to score, we just thought we'd have to score more than four runs."
It was an especially memorable night for Baxendale as his 12-year-old sister, Bailey, sang the National Anthem in the pregame.
"It was pretty special. I knew she was singing at some point in the year but I couldn't remember what day it was," Baxendale said. "Then when the coaches told me I was starting today my dad called me and said, ‘Hey, you know your sister is singing that day, right?' I got out there and gave her a hug, wished her good luck and she did the same to me.
"She did a great job so now the pressure was on. Since she did good, I had to do good."
Baxendale did well matched up against New Mexico junior right-hander Richard Olson, the Lobos' usual Saturday starter who gave up just one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
That run came off the bat of Travis Sample in the sixth inning. The sophomore's RBI single scored Kreder from second base and gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead. The Razorbacks loaded the bases later in the inning, but were unable to score any more as Sample was caught trying to score from third on a passed ball.
Daniel Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an Adam Courcha RBI single off Arkansas reliever TJ Forrest to tie the game 1-1. Courcha later advanced to third but Razorback reliever Mike Bolsinger kept him there, ending the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to keep it tied.
Jeremy Heatley (4-0) earned the win by pitching the 11th inning for the Razorbacks, allowing one hit while striking out two batters.
The win ties a season-best seven straight wins for Arkansas and is the team's 14th win in 15 games. The two teams will meet again Wednesday with a first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Arkansas 4, New Mexico 3
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