FAYETTEVILLE - There might be no team happier to see Arkansas junior Brett Eibner eligible for this summer's MLB Draft than Missouri State.
Eibner continued his career-long tear against the Bears Wednesday night, hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning that was the difference as the No. 9 Razorbacks beat Missouri State 5-4 at Baum Stadium.
"The home run was the key tonight," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Sometimes it just happens that you have a good experience against a certain team and maybe your confidence level is up. You can fall back on it a little bit, relax and good things happen. I'm glad he did and he picked us up tonight."
In addition to the home run, Eibner had a pair of sacrifice flies in the first and third innings to score Bo Bigham each time. Eibner finished the night 1-for-2 with four RBIs for the Razorbacks (34-8), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Eibner was the star in both of Arkansas' wins over the Bears last season, pitching four shutout inning in both games, and going 2-for-3 with two solo home runs in a 2-0 win last April.
"I don't know what it is about Missouri State," Eibner said. "I do whatever I can to help the team out. We needed a win and I wanted to do what I could to help us get that."
Eibner's 14th home run of the season Wednesday tied him for the SEC lead and bailed out Razorback reliever Jason Fuqua, who had given up a three-run home run to Christian Overstreet in the top of the fourth inning - his first batter faced - to give the Bears (17-22) a 4-2 lead.
Jordan Pratt picked up his second win of the season by retiring all seven batters he faced after coming in for Fuqua in the fifth inning.
Jeremy Heatley picked up the save by going 1 2/3 innings on the mound. Heatley inherited two runners on base with one out when he entered in the eighth inning.
Heatley was aided when Missouri State's lead runner, Keenen Maddox, was picked off at second base on a bizzare play in which his hand landed on Arkansas shortstop Matt Reynolds' shoe but never touched the bag.
"Reynolds kept the ball on him and basically told the umpire to look and he called it," Van Horn said. "It was a heady play."
Reynolds made his first start since March 28 after nursing a stress reaction in his shin for the better part of the last month.
"He did a real good job," Van Horn said. "There was a play (in the sixth inning) where we asked him to drive the ball to right field and he did it. With no wind that ball might have gone out of the park.
"If he feels good tomorrow it's a good sign. If we can get him to this weekend it'd be nice to have him available."
Arkansas' other shortstop, Tim Carver, continues to battle a hip injury suffered Saturday at Florida.
"He's swinging the bat but we're just trying to rest him," Van Horn said. "By Friday he'll probably be ready to go and if not we'll just go with Matt."
Around the Bases
Collin Kuhn was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning Wednesday. The redshirt sophomore has now been hit by 22 pitches this season, tying Joe Jester for the school-record in that category...Andy Wilkins hit a first inning double against the Bears, snapping an 0-for-15 drought from the plate...Arkansas hitting coach Todd Butler did not coach Wednesday night, sitting out a game after being ejected for the second time this season in the postgame Sunday at Florida. Per SEC rules, Butler must also sit out one conference game, meaning he will also miss Friday's game with Auburn.