USC hands Arkansas 1st loss of 2019

Arkansas past Kent State

LOS ANGELES — The USC Trojans prevented the Arkansas Razorbacks from achieving the series sweep with a 6-4 victory that took 10 innings.

Junior Dominic Fletcher hit a go-ahead homer for the Razorbacks in the top of the 10th inning, but it did not sustain as USC’s C.J. Stubbs hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning to thwart a Hogs comeback and send Arkansas back home with its first loss of the season.

“I talked with the team about how fragile the game is,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. “When you’re playing good competition and make a little mistake here, whether it be the dropped pop-up or not getting a bunt down or you just miss a spot. It’s a fine line between winning and losing. We might have lost tonight, but maybe it will help us win a game in a week or two.”

Connor Noland make his second start for the Razorbacks and went four innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, a solo home run, and producing two strikeouts.

Saturday is the first extra-innings game of the season for the Hogs. Arkansas was 1-1 in such games a season ago.

Despite the loss, Van Horn is pleased with getting the series win over the Trojans, their first road series win since going 2-of-3 at Alabama in 2017.

Said Van Horn: “It was a really good weekend for us. Obviously, we wanted to win game three and sweep the series. USC has a lot of talented players, they have good arms on the mound, and to come out here and win two of three is good. We were so close to sweeping it that would have made it a really good weekend. We learned a lot about our team. We learned a lot about how to coach some guys in certain situations and we learned a little about the toughness of some of our players. I’m disappointed with the loss, but not disappointed with the effort at all.”

The Razorbacks (5-1) return to Baum-Walker Stadium for a single midweek game versus the Memphis Tigers on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.