Baseball: Arkansas nips 'Dores, 6-5

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Commodores left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning Friday night, falling to Arkansas 6-5 in game one of a three-game Southeastern Conference series.

Mike Baxter and Warner Jones each contributed a pair of hits for the Commodores. Starter Jensen Lewis lasted two and a third innings before giving way to reliever Stephen Shao, who allowed two runs over five and two-thirds while striking out five.

The Dores scored the first run of the game, when Jones reached on an error by the Arkansas shortstop which allowed Baxter to score from second base.

The Razorbacks would score two in the bottom of the first, but Vanderbilt answered in the third with runs. RBI's by Jones (singled in Bill Kleinschrodt), Brian Hernandez (singled in Rucker Taylor) and Dominic De La Osa (hit by pitch to score Jones) gave the Commodores a 4-2 lead.

But Arkansas would score a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings. UA reliever Charley Boyce gave up only one hit in nearly six innings of work to hold the Commodores scoreless until the ninth inning.

In the final frame, a Ryan Davis double was followed by a single from Antoan Richardson which scored pinch-runner David Macias, bringing Vanderbilt within a run at 6-5. Taylor and Baxter were hit by pitches back-to-back to load the bases with two outs, but Arkansas closer Lee Land was able to retire the final Commodore batter to preserve the victory.

The two teams square off in the second game of the series Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT.

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