The Arkansas baseball season came to an end Sunday night, but not in a way anybody could have expected.
The Hogs fell to Kansas State, 4-3 in the Manhattan Regional after jumping out to a early 3-0 lead.
Clinging to a 3-2 margin in the 7th inning, Prairie Grove’s Jalen Beeks came on in relief of Michael Gunn. With runners on second and third Arkansas chose to intentionally walk the next KSU batter to load the bases and set up a potential double play ball to end the inning.
Beeks threw a wild pitch on the intentional walk, allowing the runner from third to tie the game, 3-3.
“I haven’t had one, but now I have,” said coach Dave Van Horn in reference to the throw. “That’s probably a 1 in a 1,000 thing that happened. It didn’t lose the game for us. It just happened.”
It did not lose the game. But a wild pitch a few batters later did.
Beeks lost control of another pitch, allowing another runner to score, making the game 4-3.
While pitching was an issue, the Arkansas bats also struggled to compete all weekend long. After scoring three runs on RBIs by Brian Anderson and Matt Vinson in the first, Arkansas managed just three hits the rest of the game.
This came after the Hogs put up 12 runs in an elimination game earlier in the day against Bryant.
“I’m proud of the team, but disappointed we’re not going to the College World Series because that was our goal,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. “It’s been a tough year. We had to battle for everything we got.”
Arkansas came into the season ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls. Now they finish their season three weeks before they wanted and expected.