HOOVER, Ala. – The Vanderbilt baseball team fell in a back-and-forth contest to top-ranked Arkansas on Thursday as the Razorbacks claimed a 6-4 victory.
With the loss, the Commodores fell to 40-14 on the season.
Vanderbilt now faces Ole Miss at 1:30 p.m. Friday in an elimination game. The contest will aired live on SEC Network.
The two teams traded runs across the early parts of the game as the contest featured three lead changes in the first four innings. Arkansas carried a 6-4 lead into the sixth inning which would hold the final three frames as Vanderbilt was unable to come any closer.
Commodore starter Kumar Rocker (11-3) suffered his third loss of the season. Rocker lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six.
Vanderbilt struck first in Thursday’s matchup with two runs in the top of the first. After Dominic Keegan lined a one-out single to right field, Jack Bulger followed with a double to right center to place runners on second and third with two down.
With runners in scoring position, CJ Rodriguez cashed in on a two-run double down the left field line to cross the game’s first runs and put the Commodores ahead 2-0.
Arkansas responded in the home half of the second with a pair of runs to even the score at two apiece. A lead-off walk followed by a single to left field placed runners on first and second with nobody out.
Two batters later, a single through the left side scored one run and placed the Razorbacks in the scoring column. After a walk loaded the bases, a hit-by-pitch brought across the second run of the inning to make it a 2-2 ballgame after two full.
Vanderbilt scored one in the fourth to regain the advantage and take a 3-2 lead. With two down, Troy LaNeve worked a full count before drawing a walk while Tate Kolwyck followed with a single up the middle.
The Razorbacks answered back with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame as the inning began with a walk and single up the middle. Arkansas used a two-run double followed by an RBI single to cross three in the inning, taking a 5-3 lead after four.
The Commodores trimmed the deficit to one in the fifth as Isaiah Thomas registered his 12th home run of the season with a solo shot to make it a 5-4 contest.
Arkansas capitalized on a lead-off walk in the home half of the fifth as a wild pitch and a groundout advanced the runner to third with one down. The Razorbacks scored one on a sacrifice fly to center to set the score at 6-4, the eventual final.