NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Defensive miscues proved costly Thursday night as No. 12 Vanderbilt fell 8-2 to No. 2 Arkansas in Game 1 of the three-game series at Hawkins Field.
Arkansas took advantage of four walks and a pair of errors in the top of the first to push four runs across. Brady Slavens’ two-run homer highlighted the frame as the visitors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.
Two more walks led to a one-run single in the top of the second as the Razorbacks pulled ahead by five.
Arkansas added two more runs on another error in the top of the fourth.
Vanderbilt got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Davis Diaz reached on an infield single and Chris Maldonado worked a two-out walk. Parker Noland then singled through the right side to score Diaz from second.
Vandy continued to claw back in the bottom of the fifth. Matthew Polk worked a leadoff walk and Jonathan Vastine singled to put two on base. Enrique Bradfield Jr. then lined a one-out single to center field, bringing Polk in to score.
The Razorbacks added a run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh to make it 8-2.
Sam Hliboki threw a career-high 5.1 innings and allowed just one earned while striking out seven. Grayson Moore and JD Thompson each threw a scoreless inning in relief as well.
Vanderbilt and Arkansas meet for Game 2 at 7 p.m. Friday on SEC Network.