Number 25 Arkansas managed just three hits but Appalachian State University pitchers issued eight walks and hit six batters in an 8-3 loss to the Razorbacks on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.


All three of Arkansas’ hits — Tyler Spoon’s RBI double in the first and Joe Serrano’s RBI double and Brian Anderson’s RBI single in the seventh — drove in runs. However, the Hogs also plated five runs — two in the second inning and three in the eighth — without the benefit of a hit in either stanza.


Appalachian State (0-3) led 2-1 after one-and-a-half innings thanks to a leadoff homer by Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) and a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) in the top of the second. After Arkansas regained a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning, Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) drew the Mountaineers even in the top of the third when he led off with a mammoth homer that cleared the bullpen beyond the right-field wall.


After the frantic start to the ballgame, neither team had a hit over the next three frames before Arkansas (3-0) snapped the deadlock with its back-to-back run-scoring hits in the seventh.


The Mountaineers then issued two more walks, hit two batters and had a costly error in the eighth to allow the Razorbacks to put the game out of reach.


Six of Appalachian State’s seven pitchers had at least one walk and/or hit batter but only two surrendered hits in the frustrating defeat. Freshman Payton Smith (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) suffered the loss despite not allowing a hit or walk during his one inning of work, as he led off the seventh by hitting the batter that eventually came across as the winning run.


In addition to Pierson’s and Dobson’s solo homers, Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury), Ozzy Gonzalez (Miami, Fla./South Miami) and Bradley Morton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) each had singles to round out the Mountaineers’ five hits.


Appalachian State looks to rebound from the disappointing opening weekend on Tuesday when it travels to another traditional Southeastern Conference power, Tennessee. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.


NOTES: Dobson was a bright spot for Appalachian State’s offense all weekend, going 5-for-12 with a double, triple, home run, five RBI and two runs scored in the three games against Arkansas’ very strong pitching staff … despite the three-game sweep at Arkansas, Appalachian remains an impressive 6-7 in its last 13 games versus opponents from the baseball-rich SEC … App State’s 0-3 start is its first since it lost its first 12 games of the 2004 campaign … Sunday’s win was the 2,000th in Arkansas history.

Photo Courtesy: William Head, ASU Athletics