It looked like the Razorbacks might get another crack at Tony Vitello in Hoover, Ala., but instead, it’ll be Arkansas vs Texas A&M in the second round of the 2023 SEC Tournament.
Behind an incredible pitching performance by Troy Wansing, the 10th-seeded Aggies knocked off 7 seed Tennessee 3-0 in the single-elimination first round Tuesday afternoon. Now they get a rematch with the Razorbacks, which swept them at Baum-Walker Stadium last month.
Despite all of them going Arkansas’ way, all three of the previous matchups with Texas A&M were close. Game 1 was tied entering the bottom of the eighth, when the Razorbacks scored two to win 7-5. The next day, it was a 6-4 game at the seventh-inning stretch before Arkansas scored four more runs to pull away for a 10-4 win. In the finale, the Aggies got a leadoff home run in the ninth to pull within a run, but the Razorbacks hung on for an 8-7 win to finish off the sweep.
In Hoover, Wansing limited the Volunteers to just one base runner in eight shutout innings, preserving Texas A&M’s bullpen for the double-elimination portion of the event that begins with Wednesday’s game against Arkansas.
First pitch will be about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the LSU-South Carolina game, which starts at 9:30 a.m. CT. That means the game will likely start between 12:30 and 1 p.m. The SEC Network is televising the entire event until Sunday’s championship game, which will air on ESPN2.
As always, Best of Arkansas Sports will be watching and providing live, inning-by-inning updates from the Arkansas vs Texas A&M game at the SEC Tournament below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Pregame Tidbits from SEC Tournament
In the first game of the day, LSU beat South Carolina 10-3. That means the winner of the Arkansas vs Texas A&M matchup will face LSU at 4:30 p.m. CT Thursday and the loser will face South Carolina at 9:30 a.m.
First pitch of Arkansas vs Texas A&M is scheduled for 1:25 p.m.
Rather than pitching Hagen Smith on one day less rest, Arkansas is starting right-hander Cody Adcock. The junior pitched in the last two games at Vanderbilt, but threw only 33 total pitches. It will be his first start since April 29, when he gave the Razorbacks four scoreless innings against the Aggies.
For the second straight week, junior Nathan Dettmer will not have a full week of rest between starts for Texas A&M baseball. Last Thursday, the right-hander threw 82 pitches in 4 2/3 innings against Mississippi State. In his start at Arkansas on April 28, Dettmer really struggled with his command, walking three of the five batters he faced and having a three-ball count against all five.
Both first basemen in the Arkansas vs Texas A&M matchup are scorching hot at the plate. Arkansas’ Brady Slavens is riding a 10-game hitting streak and 20-game on-base streak, plus went 8 for 14 last weekend at Vanderbilt. Texas A&M’s Jack Moss has multiple hits in seven of his last eight games, during which he’s gone 17 for 35.
T-1st: Texas A&M 0, Arkansas 0
Haas got things started with a lazy line drive to left-center that Wegner easily tracked down. Moss also hit a line drive that direction, but it was much more solidly hit and required a sensational diving catch by Josenberger near the warning track. Adcock got ahead 0-1 on Werner, but ended up walking him with four straight balls. He bounced back to strike out LaViolette. It was a 22-pitch inning.
B-1st: Texas A&M 0, Arkansas 0
Josenberger grounded out to second to start the inning, but Diggs singled through the shift and Bohrofen drew a four-pitch walk. That put runners on first and second with one out, but Wegner popped out to third in foul territory and Slavens went down swinging to strand them. It was a 23-pitch inning for Dettmer.
T-2nd: Texas A&M 0, Arkansas 0
Thompson popped out to start the inning, but it was a bit of an adventure, with Coll eventually catching it in shallow center. Targac flied out to left and Bost grounded out back to the pitcher. Adcock threw just 11 pitches and is up to 33 for the game.
B-2nd: Texas A&M 0, Arkansas 0
Cali poked a single through the right side to start the home half of the second, but was quickly erased when Holt grounded into 4-6-3 double play. With two outs, Coll drew a walk and Rowland singled to center. Like the first inning, though, they were stranded when Josenberger grounded out to first. Dettmer is up to 45 pitches.
T-3rd: Texas A&M 3, Arkansas 0
Minnich worked the count full before sending it the other way for a double to the left-center gap. Kaufer followed with a sharp line drive to left, putting runners on the corners and prompting a mound visit by Matt Hobbs. Haas then walked on four pitches to load the bases and that’s it for Adcock. The new pitcher is left-hander Zack Morris, who inherits a bases-loaded, no-out situation.
Morris fell behind 3-0 against Moss before battling back to get it full. After several foul balls, Moss hit a slow roller back to Morris, who opted to get the out at first instead of going home. That scored a run. Then Werner singled through the left side to drive in two more. Morris bounced back with back-to-back strikeouts of LaViolette and Thompson to end the inning.
B-3rd: Texas A&M 3, Arkansas 0
It looked like Arkansas would have another leadoff base runner, but Haas made a great diving catch at shortstop to rob Diggs of the hit. Bohrofen followed with a five-pitch walk. He’s seen one strike in two at bats. Wegner was plunked to put a couple of runners on base and Dettmer got into a 2-2 count to Slavens, at which point Texas A&M made a pitching change.
Left-hander Shane Sdao came in and got Slavens to fly out to left. He then struck out Cali. Arkansas has stranded six runners through three innings.
T-4th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 0
Targac extended the lead with a solo home run to left-center to start the inning. Bost then grounded out to second and Minnich flied out to center. With two outs, Kaufer worked the count full and drew a walk. Haas followed with a single, but Moss grounded out to end the inning and limit the damage to just the one run.
B-4th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Holt went down looking to start the inning. Coll followed with a full-count walk and Rowland was plunked in a 1-2 count. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third. Josenberger put a good swing on it, but Targac made a nice running catch in left to turn it into a sacrifice fly. Rowland tagged up to third on the play, as well, but was stranded when Diggs struck out swinging at a pitch in his eyes after an otherwise solid at bat.
T-5th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Werner flied out to deep right to start the inning. Morris then struck out LaViolette. Thompson flied out to left to end the inning. Morris has thrown 60 pitches through three innings.
B-5th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Bohrofen popped out to third in foul territory on the first pitch of the inning. Wegner followed with a slow ground out to short just two pitches later. Slavens struck out on three pitches to end the inning, making it a six-pitch frame for Sdao.
T-6th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Morris has retired seven straight after getting Targac to ground out to short, striking out Bost and getting Minnich to fly out to left.
B-6th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Cali flied out to right to start the inning. Holt followed with a blooper to left that fell just in front of the diving left fielder. He was erased when Coll grounded into a 6-3 double play that ended the inning.
T-7th: Texas A&M 4, Arkansas 1
Make that 10 straight retired by Morris. Kaufer popped out to shallow right, with Holt making the catch. Haas flied out to deep center. Moss struck out swinging. He’s up to 85 pitches in five innings.
B-7th: Arkansas 5, Texas A&M 4
Rowland drew a full-count walk to start the inning and Josenberger looked like he might have a hit, but Targac once again robbed him by tracking down his line drive and making a lunging catch. Diggs appeared to hit a ground ball to short, but catcher’s interference was called. That’s it for Sdao.
The new pitcher is left-hander Brandyn Garcia. He walked Bohrofen in a full count to load the bases and then Wegner crushed the first pitch he saw for a grand slam that puts Arkansas on top 5-4. Slavens followed with a single to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and then Cali was hit by a pitch in the foot. He got out of it with a double play, as Holt hit a chopper to third and Werner tagged Slavens before firing to first.
T-8th: Arkansas 5, Texas A&M 4
Right-hander Will McEntire is now pitching for Arkansas. He got Werner to fly out to right, but then struggled a bit with his command. He walked LaViolette and fell behind 3-0 against Thompson before getting him to foul out behind the plate. With two outs, Targac grounded out to second.
B-8th: Arkansas 5, Texas A&M 4
Coll popped out to the pitcher, Rowland flied out to right and Josenberger struck out to end the inning.
T-9th: Texas A&M 5, Arkansas 5
Bost tied it up with a leadoff home run. Minnich followed with a solid line drive, but Bohrofen caught it for the out. Kaufer then went down looking. With two outs, Haas popped out to first to end the inning.
B-9th: Texas A&M 5, Arkansas 5
Diggs drew a leadoff walk to start the inning. Bohrofen followed by looking at strike three – he thought it was low. Wegner also went down looking. With two outs, Slavens also struck out, but did so swinging. That sends the game to extras.
T-10th: Texas A&M 5, Arkansas 5
Moss led off the 10th with a single and was replaced by a pinch runner, Travis Chestnut. Werner went down swinging for the first out of the inning. LaViolette then flied out to left. With two outs, Chestnut tried stealing second, but was thrown out by Rowland to end the inning.
B-10th: Texas A&M 5, Arkansas 5
Cali put together a solid at bat that resulted in a leadoff walk. That prompted a pitching change. The new pitcher for Texas A&M is right-hander Ty Sexton. Arkansas inserted Hunter Grimes as a pinch runner for Cali. Holt hit a chopper down the third base line that just stayed fair. The third baseman fielded it, but had no play, so it resulted in an infield single. Coll laid down a sac bunt to move the runners to second and third.
Rowland tried to lay down a squeeze bunt to bring in the winning run, but the pitcher was able to field it and get the out at the plate. Josenberger then grounded out to second to end the inning.
T-11th: Texas A&M 5, Arkansas 5
Jayson Jones comes in to play third. He promptly has to make a really nice play to get Thompson for the first out of the inning. Targac struck out. Bost lined out to left. It’s the first 1-2-3 inning for McEntire.
B-11th: Arkansas 6, Texas A&M 5
Kendall Diggs ends it with his second career walk-off home run.
FINAL: Arkansas 6, Texas A&M 5
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Starting Lineups – Arkansas vs Texas A&M
|Texas A&M Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. Hunter Haas – SS||1. Tavian Josenberger – CF|
|2. Jack Moss – 1B||2. Kendall Diggs – DH|
|3. Trevor Werner – 3B||3. Jace Bohrofen – RF|
|4. Jace LaViolette – RF||4. Jared Wegner – LF|
|5. Jordan Thompson – CF||5. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|6. Ryan Targac – LF||6. Caleb Cali – 3B|
|7. Austin Bost – 2B||7. Peyton Holt – 2B|
|8. Brett Minnich – DH||8. Harold Coll – SS|
|9. Max Kaufer – C||9. Parker Rowland – C|
|Pitching: Jr. RHP Nathan Dettmer||Pitching: Jr. RHP Cody Adcock|
How to Watch Arkansas Baseball at SEC Tournament
Wednesday, May 24 – vs. (10) Texas A&M baseball – approx. 1 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Thursday, May 25 – vs. (3) LSU or (6) South Carolina – 9:30 a.m. CT or 4:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Accountability Check — 2023 Arkansas Baseball Predictions
Best of Arkansas Sports managing editor Andrew Hutchinson published his week-by-week predictions for the 2023 season just before the Razorbacks opened the year at the College Baseball Showdown. Those predictions can be read in full here, but we’ll also be doing weekly “accountability checks” in this space.
Prediction: 1-2 on the weekend / 40-15 overall, 19-11 in SEC play
With a chance to capture at least a share of the division title, Arkansas will stay hot in Game 1 against Vanderbilt and win big. However, the Commodores will bounce back with a pair of tight wins the next two days, preventing the Razorbacks from winning the West. It will be reminiscent of 2018, 2019 and 2022 — each of which ended in Omaha.
Actual: 1-2 on the weekend / 39-15 overall, 20-10 in SEC play
Well, Arkansas baseball still won the SEC West and captured a share of the overall title…but it did miss out on winning the title outright by losing the last two games in heartbreaking fashion. Assume a win over Arkansas State in a midweek game that got rained out and our overall prediction was spot on, while missing the SEC prediction by one game.
Composite College Baseball Top 25
Unlike football and basketball, which have just the AP and Coaches Polls all year (with football adding the CFP rankings late in the season), college baseball has five major polls. (Collegiate Baseball used to be included, but it was dropped due to severe inconsistencies in its rankings.)
To get a better feel for how teams stack up, BoAS has combined those rankings into a single top 25 by using a points system in which a No. 1 ranking = 25 points, No. 2 = 24 points and all the way to No. 25 = 1 point. We will update this each week throughout the season…
|1. Wake Forest||ACC||—||125|
|8. Coastal Carolina||Sun Belt||-1||92|
|9. Miami (Fla.)||ACC||+1||81|
|11. UConn||Big East||+1||67|
|12. East Carolina||AAC||+2||66|
|14. Dallas Baptist||C-USA||+2||54|
|15. Campbell||Big South||-2||51|
|16. Oregon State||Pac-12||+3||50|
|17. Oklahoma State||Big 12||+4||41.5|
|18. West Virginia||Big 12||-12||40.5|
|20. Texas||Big 12||N/A||24|
|21. Boston College||ACC||+1||23|
|t-22. South Carolina||SEC||-11||22|
|24. Southern Miss||Sun Belt||+1||20|
MOVED IN: Texas (20)
MOVED OUT: Maryland (23)
- SEC: 8
- ACC: 6
- Big 12: 3
- Pac-12: 2
- Sun Belt: 2
- AAC: 1
- Big East: 1
- Big South: 1
- C-USA: 1
Check out our coverage of the Arkansas vs Texas A&M regular-season series…
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…