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Razorbacks edge Vols with a walk-off double

3203 days ago
SEC staff
Photo: Arkansas Athletics

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HOOVER, Ala. -- Arkansas' Michael Bernal hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to beat Tennessee, 2-1. The Razorbacks will continue play in day two of the SEC Baseball Tournament against Florida.

The defensive duel kept both teams scoreless through the first 6.5 innings. Despite Arkansas leaving 15 runners on base, the Razorbacks came out victorious after hitting .239 versus Tennessee's .138 batting average.

"We just could not get that big hit," said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. "It took nine innings to get that big hit. I feel fortunate to win the game. I thought both teams played hard and were into it.

"I am proud of my pitchers. They did a tremendous job on a night that we did not hit. The pitchers did it for us."

The Razorbacks are now 10-11 in SEC Tournament openers. Their pitching staff has held opponents to two runs or less in nine of the last 14 games with a pair of shutouts and 99 strikeouts in 121.0 innings of work.

Zach Jackson closed for Arkansas to claim the win, remaining undefeated at 5-0 this season. Jackson pitched 1.1 innings, had zero hits and two strikeouts. Trey Killian pitched the Razorbacks' first 7.2 innings and allowed four hits and the Vols' first run in the bottom of the seventh. .

Andrew Lee took the loss for the Vols and falls to 4-2 on the season, as Tennessee pitched by committee, opening with Drake Owenby, and followed with Kyle Serrano, Andy Cox and Lee.

Razorback Rick Nomura hit Arkansas' first RBI in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Tyler Spoon to score. Tennessee received its first run an inning later as Benito Santiago doubled to left centerfield, which allowed Chris Hail to get the point.

"It's great - I can't say we didn't expect to do this coming in here," said Arkansas shortstop Michael Bernal. "We are playing for it all. For us to win in the last inning, maybe a little later than we wanted to, but we are happy. We are excited to keep going."

Arkansas has won 15 of the last 19 meetings against the Vols.

Arkansas improves to 34-20 on the season, while Tennessee falls to 24-26 and awaits its postseason fate. No. 5 Arkansas will play No. 4 Florida Wednesday in game 8 following the conclusion of game 7, which begins at 4:30 p.m. CT, in the double-elimination portion of the tournament on SEC Network.