Arkansas baseball loses SEC West as Vanderbilt takes Game 3
May 16, 2022
Arkansas lost the series against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday, which ended its hopes of winning the league. It was the second loss of the season for the fourth-ranked team. It also marked the first home series loss since 2019.
The series against Vanderbilt was affected by the weather. Arkansas fell behind early in the first game and lost 9-6 in 10 innings. The team won but lost the rubber match on Sunday in the second game. In Game 3, Arkansas only managed two hits as Carter Holton threw a complete game.
The team's record of 37-14 in the SEC and 17-10 in the conference was good enough to earn it a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas was in the top 20 of the NCAA's RPI. However, after the series loss to the Commodores, the team fell to 28th. This loss will affect the team's chances of being selected as one of the regional hosts for the tournament.
The team started the series with a two-game lead over Texas A&M in the SEC West. However, after the two teams met in April, the lead became a tie. The Aggies won the series against Arkansas, which gave them the head-to-head tiebreaker with one week left in the regular season.
Big hitters from both sides
The team's bats continued to power their way, as Brady Slavens and Cayden Wallace hit two home runs in the first two games.
According to Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, Wallace's power and consistency at the plate had been the main factors that contributed to his success this season.
The team also hit 10 home runs during the series against Vanderbilt. It was the most runs the team had scored in a game against a pitching staff that had allowed the third-fewest home runs in the league.
In Game 3, Tate Kolwyck's two-run home run gave the Commodores a huge advantage, with his two-run shot giving Vanderbilt a 5-0 lead. The team hit five home runs and outhit Arkansas 25-15.
After a strong start against Auburn last week, sophomore pitcher Jaxon Wiggins had another strong performance against the Commodores on Sunday. He threw for more than four innings and allowed three runs.
Arkansas fell behind early against Vanderbilt. After giving up two runs in the fourth inning, which was the result of a couple of hits and a walk, Wiggins was credited with a loss. Taylor came in and gave up a two-run single to Dom Keegan.
Connor Noland started the game for the team, but he struggled with his performance. He gave up six hits and five runs in five innings.
Left-hander Hagen Smith also struggled with his performance. He had his second-shortest start and gave up five runs on four hits and three walks.
Smith struggled throughout his last two starts, allowing seven hits and seven walks in just over seven innings. Despite his struggles, the team's bullpen was able to help the team win the second game.
The team's bats continued to struggle in Game 3. They were unable to produce any runs despite the strong performance from the pitching staff.