Arkansas Sweeps Baseball In Season Opener
March 1, 2003
Fayetteville, Ark. - The University of Illinois at Chicago baseball team went for a roller-coaster ride in their season-opening double-header against Arkansas on Saturday afternoon.
Too bad for UIC, the ride always was going down as the host Razorbacks swept the twin-bill with a 8-7 extra-inning victory in the opener and a 6-4 win in the nightcap at Baum Stadium. Arkansas came from behind in both games to earn the sweep.
With the sweep, Arkansas improves to 7-0 overall, while UIC falls to 0-2 on the campaign.
UIC seemed in control in the opener as they built a 7-2 lead over the Razorbacks, heading into the eighth inning paced by RBI doubles from junior shortstop Jordan DeVoir (two-run double) along with designated hitter Weber Bowen and first baseman Brad Ryan.
Arkansas, however, stormed back with a five-run eighth inning to tie the game up at 7-apiece. Designated hitter Nick Pitts drove in Haas Pratt (double) with a sacrifice fly to center for the first run of the inning. Brett Hagedorn then plated Andrew Wishy (walk) with a single to make it a 7-4 contest.
With one out and two on, sophomore catcher Brady Toops drilled the first pitch he saw from senior reliever Eric Xidis (0-1) over the right field fence to tie the game up at seven.
Pratt then won the game for the Razorbacks in the bottom of the 11th inning with a sacrifice fly to give Arkansas the victory. Arkansas reliever Jay Sawatski (2-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning to pick up the victory for the Razorbacks.
It was more of the same in game two as UIC built a 4-1 lead over Arkansas heading into the bottom of the sixth inning behind a RBI singles from junior right fielder Mike Hughes (2-for-5), a two-run double from senior pinch-hitter Chuck Peters and a RBI double from Ryan (2-for-4).
The Razorbacks stormed back again in the bottom half of the frame as Toops doubled to center to score Pitts (hit-by-pitch) and Hagedorn (walk) to narrow UIC's lead to 4-3.
Arkansas took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh as Pratt and Wishy tallied back-to-back doubles off losing pitcher Charlie Hahn (0-1) to knot the game up at 4-apiece. Wishy then scored on a Ryan Fox single to put the Razorbacks ahead for good at 5-4.
Scott Roehl (1-0) pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief to earn the victory for Arkansas.
Both teams will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. (CST).