FAYETTEVILLE – The Red squad, thanks to an RBI double from Casey Opitz and a two-run home run by Zac White in the sixth inning, claimed a 4-2 victory over the Black squad Thursday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium to take a three-to-two lead in Arkansas’ Fall Series.
White figured in three of his team’s four runs. In the fourth inning, he reached on an error that produced a run. Then his two-run blast in the sixth proved to be the winning margin.
Despite the loss, the Black team’s pitching was solid as it allowed just four hits and tallied nine strikeouts.
The Black team threatened to score in the top of the third. With two on and one out, Christian Franklin singled up the middle. Charlie Welch tried to score from second on the play, but Brayden Webb threw a strike to home to keep the game scoreless.
In the fourth, the Red squad took advantage of an error to take a 1-0 lead. With two out, White reached on an error. Brady Slavens, who was on second, never broke stride and scored without a throw.
The Black team broke through to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth. Franklin singled and Matt Goodheart was hit by a pitch. Cayden Wallace looped the ball down the right-field line for a single to plate Christian.
However, the Red answered in the bottom of the sixth with three runs to regain the advantage. Despite striking out to start the home half, Slavens reached on a wild pitch. Opitz followed with an RBI double off the left-field fence. Two batters later, White cleared the bases with a home run to left to put his team up, 4-1.
The Black team made it interesting in the top of the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate. Jalen Battles delivered a leadoff single, stole second and scored on an Ethan Bates single to cut the deficit in half (4-2). Red relief pitcher Peyton Pallette induced a pop out and a foul out to end the threat and get the win.
Pallette pitched the final 1.1 innings. He allowed three hits and one run with a strikeout. Red starter Lael Lockhart pitched four scoreless innings while allowing three hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
Patrick Wicklander was the starter for the Black squad. He allowed one hit and an unearned run in 3.1 innings with five punchouts and three walks. Evan Taylor was saddled with the loss. He struck out four with no walks in 1.2 innings while allowing a hit and one run.
Game six of the Fall Series is set for Saturday (Oct. 24) at 1 p.m. The game will be available on SEC Network.