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SEMO stuns Arkansas baseball to end Hogs season in Fayetteville Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas baseball season is over, with a quiet thud from the offense ending the Razorbacks run in the Fayetteville Regional.

Southeast Missouri State pulled off a stunner on Sunday afternoon, topping the No. 5 national seed 6-3 at home. The 2024 NCAA Tournament will go on without the Hogs, who have been eliminated from a home region for the second year in a row.

Here are three observations from a losing season for Arkansas.

An embarrassing afternoon for the Arkansas baseball bats

The Razorbacks (44-16) had offensive momentum after scoring 23 points in their first two games of the regional, but they came crashing back to earth against SEMO.

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Arkansas didn’t record its first hit of the game until Peyton Holt hit a home run in the top of the fifth inning. SEMO starter Collin Wilma came into the game with a 5.60 ERA, but he shut out the Razorbacks over 4 2∕3 innings. The only one Wilma allowed came on a solo home run by Peyton Holt, and Parker Rowland hit a two-run blast in the ninth.

After beating the Redhawks by 16 hits and 17 runs on Friday, Arkansas managed just six hits in the rematch.

Two big missed opportunities

Arkansas didn’t threaten much on Sunday, but the Hogs did load the bases with two outs in the top of the fifth and get runners to second and third base with no outs in the eight.

Both times they came away scoreless.

In the first jam, SEMO (36-26) removed Wilma and went to the bullpen, bringing in top reliever Logan Katen to face Hudson White with a 4-1 lead. The Hogs’ had their best hitter at the plate, but White softly grounded out to the second baseman.

In the eighth, Arkansas had the meat of the lineup at the plate, but Jared Sprague-Lott, Ben McLaughlin and Hudson White couldn’t drive to a run, prompting many fans at Baum-Walker Stadium to head for the exits.

Pitching staff ends season on a downward spiral

Gage Wood got the start against SEMO and yielded four earned runs in three innings pitched. Jake Faherty and Will McEntire each gave up an earned run, and the Hogs had no answer for Brooks Kettering, with the leadoff hitter going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Ty Stauss hit a solo home run in the first inning to give the Redhawks an early 1-0 lead.

Sunday marked the eleventh time in the last thirteen games that Arkansas has given up the last five points. Five runs isn’t an extraordinary number, but opponents have exceeded that threshold just 11 times in Arkansas’ first 42 games of the season.

The Razorbacks’ pitching staff set a ridiculous and unsustainable pace through the first two months of the season. Mason Molina and Brady Tygart fell off a cliff as starters in the SEC, while the bullpen declined as injuries mounted and McEntire struggled down the stretch.

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