Why Arkansas Lost: Arkansas left-hander Trent Daniel struggled in the fifth start of his career, allowing 6 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Western Illinois put pressure on the Hogs from the start, scoring two runs in the first inning. But the biggest problem was Arkansas’ defensive performance in the fourth. Three errors helped Western Illinois take a 6-3 lead, one it wouldn’t surrender.
Why Western Illinois Won: The Leathernecks weren’t perfect on the mound, but did enough to hold off the Razorbacks. Four pitchers combined to allow five runs on 11 hits to avoid a sweep. Starter Mason Pingel gave up three runs in five innings, while Aaron Michel and Brian Loconsole kept Arkansas scoreless the final two innings.
Player of the Game: Arkansas didn’t win Sunday, but right fielder Tyler Spoon impressed in his third game. The redshirt freshman went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored doing everything he could to help Arkansas cut into the Western Illinois lead. Spoon finished the weekend 5-for-10 with 3 walks, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored.
Stat of the Game: Arkansas was error-free the first two games of the series, but it didn’t last Sunday. The Razorbacks — who had three defensive changes with shortstop Brian Anderson, third baseman Willie Schwanke and catcher Jean Ramirez — committed three errors in the fourth inning. Anderson booted a sharp grounder, while Ramirez and outfielder Matt Vinson committed throwing errors. It helped Western Illinois break a 3-3 tie and score three runs in the inning.
Injury Update: Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Dominic Ficociello – who missed the season-opening series with a strained oblique – will likely miss this week as well because of the injury. Van Horn said he hopes Ficociello will be ready for Arkansas’ trip to Arizona later this month along with starting pitcher Randall Fant (hamstring). Jacob Mahan will continue to fill in for Ficociello at second base. Colby Suggs, who didn't pitch because of an oblique strain, is expected to pitch this week.
Quote of the Game: “I learned that we can’t relax. I think we got too comfortable. That’s basically it. We got too comfortable and relaxed and it didn’t work out in our favor.” — Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore on the opening weekend.
Up Next: Arkansas will play a two-game midweek series against New Orleans in Baum Stadium. The first game of the series is at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday. The teams will meet at the same time Wednesday. Arkansas and New Orleans haven’t played since 1998. New Orleans leads the all-time series 2-0.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau