NORTH LITTLE ROCK – A standing-room only crowd was left speechless at North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park on Tuesday night.
Arkansas, the No. 3 team in the country, was on the ropes to Grambling State as the Tigers seemed to score a run every time they needed one and the Razorbacks couldn’t seem to keep its momentum going.
After Grambling scored four runs in the top of the eighth to take the 6-3 lead, the 8,719 fans on hand went silent.
But with its backs against the wall, Arkansas responded and scored four runs to take the lead and the eventual win, 7-6 as the fans suddenly found their voice. The crowd and the sky erupted when Arkansas secured the win with a called strike for the third out as fireworks lit up the night.
Matt Cronin got the save with a three-up, three-down ninth inning to end it.
Arkansas improved to 25-9 on the season and is now on a six-game winning streak after sweeping nationally ranked Auburn last week, while Grambling fell to 16-17.
The Razorbacks started to turn it around when Dominic Fletcher opened up the bottom of the 8th inning with a double, and Jordan McFarland followed with a sharply hit single to left that scored Fletcher as the Hogs inched closer. Next up was Casey Martin, the freshman phenom from Lonoke, who got his first hit of the night when his line drive caromed off the third baseman’s glove to get Martin on first.
Carson Shaddy walked to load the bases with no outs and Arkansas was in its best position of the night to put up the kind of offensive numbers they have been accustomed to this season.
Jax Biggers hit a deep fly that resulted in the second out of the inning but scored a run that cut Grambling’s lead to 6-5. With runners on the corners, Eric Cole whacked a single to deep right field as both runners scored and just like that, Arkansas was back up, 7-6.
That was all Arkansas needed for the win. The Razorbacks had 10 hits, and also left eight runners on base.
This was the ninth time Arkansas had played a regular season game at Dickey-Stephens are now 8-1, and have won the last three in North Little Rock.
Arkansas next faces South Carolina for a three-game series at Baum that starts on Thursday.