Arkansas baseball’s season ends in uninspiring loss to SEMO

Arkansas’ season ended mostly with a whimper on Sunday.

The Razorbacks were held to just six hits in a 6-3 loss to Southeast Missouri State in the losers’ bracket of the Fayetteville Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium.

With the loss, Arkansas finishes its season 44-16. The team went just 14-13 in its last 27 games after getting off to a 30-3 start and a consensus No. 1 ranking in Top 25 polls for five consecutive weeks.

They looked nothing like that team Sunday, because they weren’t.

That Arkansas team found ways to win all sorts of games, such as when they erased a 7-0 deficit against Texas Tech in a memorable midweek thriller back on April 16.

Or when they overcame a 6-0 deficit against Mississippi State after three innings to win the rubber match of a hard-fought conference series toward the end of the regular season.

The Arkansas team that took the field Sunday never even led in the game after SEMO (36-26) delivered an early punch with a two-out solo home run from Ty Stauss off Gage Wood in the bottom of the first inning.

With nothing doing for the Hogs’ bats against Redhawks starter Collin Wilma, things stayed 1-0 until the fourth when Ben Palmer coasted into second with a leadoff double. Wood issued a walk to Stauss before Josh Cameron ripped an RBI single into right for a 2-0 SEMO lead.

Stauss took third on the play thanks to a throwing error from Ben McLaughlin in right field. After Wood was replaced by right-hander Jake Faherty, Michael Mugan reached to make it 3-0. Bryce Cannon moved the runners to second and third with a bunt, then Shea McGahan hit a two-out single that made it 4-0.

Arkansas didn’t get its first hit until Peyton Holt hit a solo home run with two out in the fifth inning. But the Razorbacks couldn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity that would follow later that inning.

After Wilma hit two batters and walked another, the Diamond Hogs left the bases loaded when Logan Katen got Hudson White on a groundout. Arkansas finished 2-for-9 with runners on base Sunday and was 0-for-4 with men in scoring position.

Brooks Kettering got the run back for SEMO in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer off Faherty. In the seventh, Kettering added an RBI single off Will McEntire that made it 6-1.

Parker Rowland hit a two-run homer in the ninth off SEMO reliever Payton Lawrence but it was too little, too late for Arkansas.

Kyle Miller struck out Nolan Souza for the second out and Peyton Stovall flied to left to end the game — and the Razorbacks’ once-promising season.

It’s the second straight year that Arkansas has failed to advance past the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament after being eliminated by TCU a season ago. This year, it was another Big 12 team in purple (Kansas State) that started the Diamond Hogs on their way to being finished off by a SEMO team that had to win its conference tournament just to reach the postseason.

The Redhawks outhit Arkansas, 9-6. Katen (2-0) threw 2 1/3 innings in relief for the win, with Wood (3-2) suffering the loss for the Hogs.

With Sunday’s loss, Arkansas closed the season 4-9 in its last 13 games.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire