FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas baseball team (25-17, 10-9) used a two-run eighth inning Friday evening to erase a late deficit and rally to pick up a 7-6 victory over Mississippi State (22-20, 6-13) in the series opener at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas continues its red hot stretch, winning 10 of the last 12 games and posting an 11-3 mark in the month of April. The Razorbacks have won five of their last six SEC series openers and are one victory away from claiming their fifth consecutive conference series victory.
Trailing 6-5 heading to the last of the eighth inning, Arkansas' late-inning magic took over again as Brett McAfee worked a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Brett McAfee's sacrifice bunt and Clark Eagan delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle to knot the score.
After Eagan moved over into scoring position on a wild pitch, Joe Serrano played the role of hero and lined a rope single up the middle to send Eagan racing home to score the winning run.
Four of Arkansas' last six conference wins have come when trailing in the seventh inning or later. Zach Jackson took the lead and slammed the door in the ninth inning, adding two of his seven strikeouts on the night to seal the victory.
Andrew Benintendi continued to impress at the plate, recording the fifth three-hit game of his career as he reached base in 13 consecutive plate appearances before Mississippi finally got him out in the eighth inning. Eagan added three hits of his own, drove in a pair and scored three times from the leadoff spot, while Bobby Wernes tallied two RBI's in the win.
Arkansas' early offense came in the third inning with four runs that included a two-run double from Wernes, while Eagan added a run in the fifth inning with a solo homer before Mississippi came storming back to take the lead.
Jackson (4-0) earned the win in relief, tossing 3.2 innings and giving up six hits and two runs, while striking out seven. Killian received a no decision after working the first 5.1 innings and giving up four runs, while striking out four.
Arkansas and Mississippi will play game two of the series Saturday evening on Dollar Hot Dog Night with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium.